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I reflected on the statement as I looked at the teapot where I was about to jam two slices of bread in to a narrow, round, opening. Curious I thought. Why am I doing that I wondered? Then I peered in to the crumb covered abyss in the depths of my toaster to see two Tetley® tea bags resting on the bottom heading for their imminent fiery death.

Maybe busy people just get tired.

The second statement is probably more accurate in reality. Yes, sure, busy people do get things done, but there is a time when we all need to recharge our batteries.

I have a few friends who are discussing the merits of saying YES more. I have lived that life I think. I have lived it to the point where I am expert at toasting tea bags. Of course, it is always possible that it may also be the signs of early dementia.

Because I have said YES so much, I have very few regrets, in fact only one. Many years ago as a young sixteen year old athlete, I was offered a chance to train with the British Olympic Fencing Team. I turned it down in order to play Jazz Guitar in an amazing band in the UK. Now, the olympics are on TV again and I always wonder how I might have done if I had followed that path.

I think our Olympic athletes and coaching staff may occasionally put their tea bags in toasters too. They have been busy preparing for the event of their lives. They said YES. However, their days are so well planned and they focus completely on what will help them progress that they are more productive in their lives than most. In fact, in my former home town of Canmore, the Olympic athletes would typically excel in their school work even though they were absent much of the time.

I think we can redefine the statement at the heading of this article though to Productive People get things done. I have been busy, my whole life. I have worked on multiple projects, failed at many and succeeded at some. But I have also witnessed unproductive busy people.

In a world full of distractions, it is important to get a grip on what is Important to you and learn to say no to what is simply urgent. It may be urgent to check your Facebook profiles because there was a really cool conversation or post from some friends, but is it important? I had a friend several years ago who framed the discussion this way. “With every decision you make, ask yourself if it will matter five years from now? If the answer is YES, then it is probably an important decision, rather than an urgent decision.

Thinking about that question throughout your day will likely prevent you from setting fire to tea bags. In reality the most important decisions in our lives are the ones that “matter five years from now” – the rest simply make us busy and often prevent us from getting things done.

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