I love a good lazy billionaire — or at least a person who acts like one. I’ve written about them in the past as trusted, imaginary advisors for creativity and marketing.
Strategy? Funnels? Pfft.
Make it. Sell it. Move on.
Lazy billionaires protect their time, energy, and reputation — all of which are lost in modern content strategy.
It wasn’t until recently that I realized the lazy billionaire I’d been referencing all this time was executive function itself. I just hadn’t been asking that billionaire in my head about anything other than marketing or creativity.
So, as an experiment, I asked the lazy billionaire about productivity and writing — which seem to be sources of fascination and frustration for many of my readers.
This is what I heard in response:
Stop fighting your brain.
Know thyself. Act your age and do one thing at a time, well.
Stop fighting your tools.
Use the right tool for each job. There's no knowledge-worker exception to this rule.
You already embrace the “one-thing-well” approach in more areas than you realize. You break out passwords, contacts, bookmarks, notes, documents, and events into separate places – when they are all pieces of reference that could be linked. Explore why.
Reference matters way less than you think. Stop working so hard for it.
Make the very few pieces of your active reference fun and interesting. Use illustrations, captivating headlines, and numbered lists. Think about what keeps readers interested. It works on you too.
Make your massive pile of inactive reference (including inactive projects) as invisible as possible to your daily work. It taxes you, your process, and your tools.
Compete with yourself.
Stop thinking in terms of just the end product. What is your process? Shorter, focused experiments inform decisions and solve problems your competition may not know even exist.
Rumination kills creation.
Prioritize for creating first, but fun as a close second. This is what makes work worthwhile.
You don’t need a “second brain.”
Especially when your first needs so much work! Avoid any complexity in organization. My second brain hasn’t returned significant results for me in 15+ years. All my best projects were pulled from a myriad of sources outside of my control. The everything bucket is garbage can.
I know it feels good to harness all that information in one app for “linking your thinking.” But guess what? The OS you use every day already does that, while supporting a one-thing-well approach. Learn it. Automate it. Move on.
To do lists are wishlists.
Hopefully it’s your wishlist (but agency isn’t a problem when you’re a billionaire).
Nothing happens if it’s not on a calendar. The details? As long as they’re captured, who cares? Keep it fun or it won’t be revisited, but keep it automated enough to not require too much organization and maintenance.
No one cares.
People care about how your output helps them. No one cares about much else.
Guard your mental health. Keep your tools and process simple. Realize it’ll all be deleted one day — sooner than you think. Be kind to your future self by protecting your time and energy for what matters. Hint: it’s not productivity.
Thanks for reading,