Start Here – The Busy to Death Manifesto

Well, hello there, fine internet traveler. Pleased to meet you.

I’m going to wager a guess that you’ve probably arrived here to read something we’ve written and decided to click the ‘Start Here’ button in the navigation bar. Good choice.

I’d like to give you an overview of what this thing is all about – and what you can do about it.

What is Busy to Death All About?

Simply put – working less and doing more. I know it sounds like a misnomer, but I’m 100% positive that once you get an understanding of the kind of changes I’m suggesting… you’ll get it. This isn’t just another productivity blog, or a ‘Getting Things Done’ clone. The focus here is on work-life balance and the effect of technology / startup grind on the human animal. We’re not trying to get organized, we’re trying to work on things that matter in ways that are healthy and encourage success. Success isn’t always defined with dollars; we can define success with increased efficiency, increased creative output, decreased feelings of being overwhelmed… the list goes on.

The Tenets of Busy to Death

The Busy To Death philosophy is founded on these ten core principles:

  • Constant busyness means poor prioritization. If you’re always feeling overwhelmed, introducing a priority ranking system will lead to increased effectiveness and decreased mental fatigue.
  • Creativity needs breathing room. You can’t force innovation or creativity. You can, however, give it some space to percolate.
  • Creative solutions are key to success. Thinking outside the box can have a huge impact. Identifying new solutions to existing problems can lead to enormous opportunities.
  • Off-time is an extremely fertile environment for innovation. Several of the worlds most innovative thinkers had their best breakthroughs while away from the ‘office’.
  • Busy work is a psychological crutch for fear of failure. Instead, we should seek to do big things, take risks and be effective. This is best expressed through Stephen Pressfields The War of Art.
  • One big push won’t earn success. The model of success is activated by many small decisions in the right direction.
  • Motivation is a finite resource eroded by every decision of the day. From shirt selection (Mark Zuckerberg wears the same outfit every day to avoid this) to hard business decisions – every decision you have to make erodes your analytical processes.
  • 80% of results can come from 20% of efforts. The Pareto principle in action. Focus on the stuff that matters – stuff can be clients, products, emails, whatever.
  • Technology enables us to be highly efficient but also highly distracted. Always on connectedness introduces exponentially increased inputs throughout the day, interrupting our work cycle. Tuning our process to filter unwanted inputs and squash FOMO (fear of missing out) are crucial to highly effective and efficient workflows.
  • Workload fetishism is rampant – but results fetishism is not. In many circles, 90 hour + work weeks are worn as a badge of honor. Everyone wants to talk about how much they grind, how many hours they log and how much code they write. But where is the work-life balance? When do we get to talk about how efficient we were?

What You Can Do About It

The Busy To Death philosophy is founded on these ten core principles:

If this all sounds good to you – (I hope it does!) – you can begin right away by perusing the Blog. There is also a podcast featuring interviews with startup founders discussing these things. If you’re feeling particularly frisky, you can always sign up for our newsletter to get notified when we post new things (including when the podcast goes live).

If you don’t want to do any of those things, I can still probably help. Shoot me an email using the form on this page.