Shameless Time Wasting

One of my heroes said something to me not long ago when I was sitting in his classroom in Texas.

"I waste more time than anyone I know."

Not what you expect from a man who has authored multiple books, developed his own educational institution, and runs a successful advertising agency. I should have been surprised, except I knew exactly what he meant. I can chase rabbits down holes like nobody's business.

What raised an eyebrow is the question that precipitated that answer. Brody asked him:

"How do you get so much done?"

There seems to be a cause and effect relationship between creating great work and shameless time wasting. At least in our business, we need space for time wasting so we can create great work.

Two weeks ago team Blue Ocean Ideas took New York City by storm. One day, in the Big Apple, we went wherever we pleased and did whatever we wanted together. We had one simple goal for our trip:

“Let’s go waste time together.”

It was glorious. We came home exhausted. And refreshed. We even had Denny McFadden, one of our alumni who does stunning work for Charity Water, join us for dinner and a show. Denny was Blue Ocean Ideas employee number three.

My productivity has dramatically increase since that trip. It will wane soon and I’ll have to go waste some more time.

I’ve been training for the Ironman Lake Placid. When you are training for a race that difficult you have to work hard some days, then recover others. Recovery feels like shameless time wasting for someone who likes to push themselves. But without the recovery you don’t get the benefit of the hard work.

One of the ways we shamelessly waste time at Blue Ocean Ideas is with film projects. Ever wonder who is behind the lens filming? It’s Brian. He can shamelessly waste time also. And as a result he creates terrific work. Here’s a glimpse into Brian’s life.

Go shamelessly waste some time. You'll do better work.

Keep moving forward,


posted by:
Greg Rittler

4 Responses to Shameless Time Wasting

  1. Steph Hubach

    Hi guys...I do a lot of writing...and, without enough margin in my life...I can't create a thing! :>) So thankful for the flexibility my job allows for my work to "ebb and flow" in ways that foster reflective input and creative output. Thanks for "permission" to do that today. Now, off to write those two articles I have due! :>)

  2. Emily Gaines Buchler

    Point well taken in a work-focused world. And, yes, Steph, flexibility is key.

    Love seeing behind-the-scenes of Brian's work in the video. : )

  3. Josh Glaser

    This is one of my favorite posts ever! It resonates with my experience and yet it's still difficult to not feel a bit guilty about it. Thanks for this reminder!

    One other thought: A trip to NYC, jumping rope with my kids, reading fiction, laughing hard, diving into the surf -- all this is a different kind of wasting time for me than sitting on the couch watching too much tv, or scanning through fb posts for the past week, or surfing the web. I don't know if this is true for everyone, but only some kinds of wasting time recharge me. Others don't.

  4. Kelley

    I read a lot of interesting content here. Probably you spend a lot of time writing, i know how to save you a lot of time,
    there is an online tool that creates readable, google friendly posts in minutes, just type in google - laranitas free content


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