Monday, April 7, 2008

How to Act Productive Tip #6: Make Sure "Right Now is a Really Bad Time"

Here at Grad Hacker, we feel that simply being productive is not enough. What good is your inner, clandestine, productivity, if your bosses, colleagues, and you yourself don't really know the extent of just how unbelievably productive, busy, stressed, in a rush, and
you really are? For these, reasons, each weekend we will provide you with a tip on how to act productive.

Right now is a really bad time for productive people. They're really busy and your petty requests are just not what they need right now. Remember this if you want to act productive: right now can never be the best time. Oh and sorry for the tardiness. I know this was supposed to get to you on the weekend, but right now is just a really bad time. I haven't slept in days and had to work all weekend, not to mention through my whole spring break. Hope yours was good though.

If you're so un-busy to where you can just take requests and phone calls from, share jokes with, or in general have a good time with any random colleague, family member, or significant other at any time of the day, you've got some serious soul-searching to do. In the meantime you should learn how to make sure your boringness is not revealed to the world. There is only one rule for this: Make sure right now is the worst possible time for anything. I'm not just talking about tasks; sure most people don't have the time to complete a requested task immediately. But I'm talking about something much deeper.

Right now needs to be a bad time in your life in general. Right now needs to be a temporary period of the most stress you've ever experienced, while you're in search of that one goal that is always just around the corner. You can't have time for a movie, dates, the family reunion, your best friend's wedding. Seriously, if it were any other time, it would be no problem, but right now is just a really bad time. The catch, though, is that "temporary" is in the eye of the beholder. You don't want to just be productive every once in while, you want to be productive all the time, so temporary needs to also be all the time.

Here are some sample exchanges with different phrasings to help you keep your lines fresh. Good luck!

Bob: "Hey you, how's it going?"
You: "Oh man, it's just really crazy right now."

Vanessa: "Hey big guy, me and my friends from the dance team are having a pool party on Saturday night, wanna come? It's gonna be wild."
You: "Oh Vanessa, I would love to...but...I'm just totally swamped right now. Seriously, if it were any other time I'd be up for it."

Or equivalently,

Ryan: "Hey, me and the guys from the soccer team are having a car wash on Saturday. You should come out, we'll have a barbecue going, and I think we'll be going out afterwards. We'll definitely give you a free wash!"
You: "Oh Ryan, that really sounds awesome, but I'm just putting everything on hold for a little bit until [insert some big deadline a few months away] is done."
Ryan: "I understand. Your passion and drive for your work is really admirable and makes you really attractive. So don't worry about it."

1 comment:

Jaime said...

How can most of these be comment-less? Another top tip.

OK I'm having it as my daily mantra.