August 2015 issue: Busy bee no more

Learn how to stop being needlessly busy and start being meaningfully productive for life

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Kenichi Ohmae, voted by The Economist as one of the world’s top five management gurus, once wrote a tribute to the legendary Sony co-founder Akio Morita in Time magazine. While describing Morita’s exemplary energy, he wrote: “The best way to describe Morita’s extraordinary drive is to scan his schedule for the two-month period immediately preceding his stroke. He took trips from his home base in Tokyo to New Jersey, Washington, Chicago, San Francisco, Los Angeles, San Antonio, Dallas, Britain, Barcelona and Paris. During that time he met with Queen Elizabeth II, General Electric chief Jack Welch, future French President Jacques Chirac, Isaac Stern and many other politicians, bureaucrats and business associates. He attended two concerts and a movie; took four trips within Japan; appeared at eight receptions; played nine rounds of golf; was guest of honour at a wedding ceremony; and went to work as usual for 17 days at Sony headquarters. Morita’s schedule had been decided on more than a year in advance.”

Morita lived a rich life—and I don’t mean that financially. The man, who led Sony to become one of the world’s biggest and most recognised brands, managed to find time for everything—work, play, family and friends.

In contrast, most of us keep struggling to cope with the ever-increasing demands on our time and, as a result, remain in a perpetual state of overwhelm. The tasks on our to-do list never seem to get exhausted and, in the end, we compromise on what we really value. But Morita was not blessed with extra time. Like all of us, he had the same 24 hours each day, and 365 days in a year, within which he had to accomplish all his goals. He was not superhuman either. So what was the secret of Morita’s inexhaustible energy? This month’s cover story points to the answer.

“A disorganised mind creates a disorganised life,” writes best-selling author and psychotherapist Jackie Woodside in the cover story. According to Jackie, to master life, you need to understand and manage your consciousness rather than your time or stress. “Most likely, your mind is a little too much like your cluttered storeroom. It is too full of things that are probably useful and important, but you cannot really gain access to them because they are cluttered and disorganised,” she writes as she outlines a three-step exercise to help you organise your mind and your energy.

So don’t waste any more time; just turn to page 24 in the August 2015 issue and learn how to stop being needlessly busy and start being meaningfully productive for life.

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