Avoiding the Trap of More

25 August, 2022


That’s something many of us strive to do. More work. More reading. More activities. All in a pursuit to, we hope, better ourselves and fill supposedly idle moments and to keep idle hands busy.

It can be a constant push to find more things to do, to tackle more, all in the name of productivity. At least, what you think will be productivity.

You can do more. But the questions you need to ask are Do I need to? and Do I want to? You need to ask those questions because more can become a trap. You find yourself trying to fill as many of your waking hours as you can with something. With anything, no matter how small or big. All with the aim of being productive.

To me, that path leads you to false productivity. You’re doing more work, but little of that work might matter. It’s often tasks you’ve set to fill time, to rather than to do something meaningful. It’s replacing quality with quantity.

I know a number of people who try to read and learn everything they can. An admirable goal, but they usually rush through books and articles and courses. I wonder how much they’re actually retaining. I wonder what kind of relationship or connection they have with what they’re reading or with what they’re trying to learn. Often, that connection is shallow and tenuous. They’re only scratching the surface rather than delving deeper and internalizing what’s before their eyes.

You risk burning out if you pack too much into your life. Burnout that can hit you hard and fast, out of nowhere.

Remember that your life doesn’t have to be a continuous stream of work and activities from the time you wake up until the time you turn in. There’s nothing wrong with taking time to rest, to relax, to reflect. You’ll be doing less, but you’ll be getting more out of it.

Give it a try.

Scott Nesbitt