Don’t confuse movement with progress

confuse movement with progress
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How many things did you do today that really helped you to make progress? We spend too much time glued to our smartphones. As hamsters running on a wheel. Busy, but not really going anywhere. Don’t confuse movement with progress. Stop wasting time, develop your talent and start working towards your goals.

Don’t confuse movement with progress

We are all constantly moving. Today, you probably did hundreds of different things. Now ask yourself this question: “how many things did I do today that really helped me to make progress?” That’s right! Don’t confuse movement with progress.

Stephen Covey’s time management grid

If you are interested in time management you have probably seen Stephen Covey’s famous time management grid. With it he created a method for organizing our priorities. The grid shows four quadrants organized by urgency and importance. In the important/urgent quadrant are things like: crisis, deadlines and pressing problems. The important/not quadrant shows us things like: prevention, relationship building, creation and planning. In the not important/urgent quadrant are: interruptions, some calls, some mails and some meetings. Yes, in this quadrant are the people that might confuse movement with progress.

A hamster running on a wheel

I do not believe in time management as such but I do recognize the value of Covey’s matrix. When I look around me I see that nowadays too many people seem to confuse movement with progress. They are spending a large percentage of their time in the not urgent/not important part of the grid. In this part are things like: trivia, busywork, some mail, some phone calls, time-wasters and pleasant activities. Things that make people move – and sometimes even look busy – but do not get them anywhere. The people constantly on their phones checking their social media networks? Hamsters running on a wheel. Looking busy but not really going anywhere.

Stop wasting time on pointless meetings, negative people, streams of endless e-mail or your never ending social media timelines

With our unique talents we all want to achieve certain things in life. How about spending more time really working towards those goals and making actual progress? The funny thing is that making progress does not require being – or looking – busy. I am talking about things like: creative processes, reading, writing, contemplation and planning. These require a lot of sitting still and thinking. Also, the best way to make progress building relationships is by spending quality time together. Not by running around and being busy.

Stop wasting time on pointless meetings, negative people, streams of endless e-mail or your never ending social media timelines. Start making some real progress instead. Learn, think and create!

These are some of the things you can do:

Put away your phone

Put away your phone and mute all incoming notifications. Don’t let it buzz you, but check it yourself a few times per hour (or day).


Sit down to think and make a plan. What are the things you want to achieve in life? What are your unique talents and what are you currently doing to develop them? What decisions do you have to make today? Set goals and start working towards them.

Build relationships

Stop running on your hamster wheel and start spending quality time with your loved ones and others that give you energy. Stop wasting time on negative people and people that suck your energy and don’t give anything in return.


Start reading more often. Not Facebook updates or Instagram timelines but actual books that are out of your comfort zone. Books and articles that broaden your horizon. Read and learn!


Writing is really just an external thinking process. How about starting a blog? Or a diary? Start writing and leave a legacy.

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