Time Management

12:15 AM Amer Bekic 0 Comments

I remember reading 7 Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey some nine years ago, but I can only recall two lessons from it (I hope the rest was somehow imprinted on my subconscious).

First: we should only worry about things we can control, i.e. our sphere of influence. Such refined focus allows us to feed and enlarge our domain. That's why I consume no news whatsoever. News drain my energy.

The second bit was right at the beginning of the book. It's where Covey sets down expectations by saying there are no tactics or tricks in this book. What you're about to read, he states, is not some easy listicle (even if the very title of his book instigated that trend). Instead he would unpack the principles, fundamentals and the unchanging core of how effective people think.

I can't tell you how confused I get when I meet someone for the first time and they keep repeating my name, as if they knew me for years. That’s a Carnegie type tactic: no word is more important to the individual than their our name. And yet reciting a name—repetitively—strikes me as a short term hack.

If I want to be anywhere near as effective as Carnegie or Covey, what I'd need to know is how their mind worked. Not what they wrote in public, as much as what they did in private, behind the scenes. Not their deeds, as much as the core values and ethics that informed them. Not the sweet fruit as much as the bitter seed.

Peter Thiel starts his book Zero to One with this:

“The next Bill Gates will not build an operating system. . . And the next Mark Zuckerberg won’t create a social network. . .”

When we look at successful people’s work, we should not copy their work but their principles.

"When we glean from those whom we look up to, the goal is not to peek at their to-do list and agenda. Rather, we should glean from their values, their approach to problem solving, and their work ethic."

And then finally,

“Everyone jumps on the latest trend. That trend gets weighed down by all the people jumping up and down on it.”
~ James Altucher

This is why deep is better than shallow. Why bitter is healthier than sweet. Why slow is more sustainable than fast. Why a book is better than a blog, and a blog is better than a tweet, and why creating is superior to consuming.

When I'm depressed I consume. News, junk food, - all that is easy and instant. Depression is a disease of affluence. It’s when we lose purpose and meaning. It’s when material comfort becomes an epidemic.

This is why I write. Because if I don’t keep creating, I feel sick.
When I create, I get to internalise things and go deeper. It’s onerous and time consuming but it makes me feel alive.