Being Busy vs. Being Productive: What it Means to Be Human Part 2- Reflections on the iPad Air

“You can’t be that kid standing at the top of the waterslide, overthinking it. You have to go down the chute.”

– Tina Fey

“Your time is limited so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”

– Steve Jobs

There are some days when I question everything. Today is one of those days. Maybe it’s because so much is happening in the world. Maybe it’s because so much is on my to-do list. Maybe it’s because the weekend is almost here and I am wondering if I accomplished even a quarter of what I wanted to do this week. Today is a busy day for me,  and I feel like I’m being pulled in many different directions. Today is I-Day at the Apple Stores and the lines are long and the tension is high. I’m also in the middle of editing my manuscript for my upcoming book, which includes a chapter on iPads and entrepreneurship. I already went to the Apple Store to check out the new iPad Air, especially after reading this insightful article. Then I remembered that the iPad Mini 2 is still waiting in the wings and will launch later this month. I need to personally play around with both before I choose which one to buy. Which is unfortunate because I’m giving one of my Socially Speaking™ iPad Seminars to my fellow speech therapists this Sun 11/3/13 in NJ, and speaking about iPads and their impact on ed-tech trends and innovation for global education, at the next Hackathon for Social Entrepreneurship on 11/21/13 in Palo Alto, CA.

I have a formula which has kept me a productive, thinking, creative, and enthusiastic human being over the years:


What’s the difference between being busy and being productive? Jason Womack just wrote about it for Entrepreneur. How does technology foster creativity? I just wrote about it in my latest Tumblr post: Act Like an Architect, Think Like an Artist Part 2. How does entrepreneurship come about through change, and subsequently promote change? I just wrote about it for my latest Huffington Post article: Turning Over a New Leaf. Most of us are gearing up to turning back the clock, which is making me ponder its effects on our productivity and creativity. It’s why I found this article by Allison Schrager so interesting.

The push/pull to be busy vs. being productive is what drives us human beings to orchestrate change. How? By our attempts to use technology, to do work that matters, and to harness time. I’ve been thinking a lot about about this, and plan on writing more about this in the future. In the meantime, let me leave you with another question to ponder… part of the social entrepreneur’s job description to provide change leadership or just thought leadership? Dana Theus provides a compelling argument for embedding social entrepreneurship into the DNA of any virtual mentorship and endeavor:

“The social, subjective, human stuff is more challenging by definition, so it’s where we need to spend more of our developmental energy. The principles of change mastery are relatively simple, understanding human motivation and group dynamics, but mastering them is a personal journey. Mastering change leadership requires us to be intentional about how we are personally motivated, how we interact with others and how we can get our own hang-ups out of the way of the change we’re trying to lead.”

At the end of the day, we female entrepreneurs in particular, need to get to know ourselves and change our thought patters/behaviors before changing another person’s. It is gratifying to see SO many more women out there pursuing introspection, social entrepreneurship, and thought leadership. My two practical takeaways for other women, and enlightened men? <grin>

1. Get to know the Mirroring Technique, a psychological strategy that can be productively implemented in your elevator pitch, marketing strategy, and social media posts. This great article can help.

2. Get to know what’s trending in tech, and how you can become part of the App Developer Club and culture. There has never been a better time to create/sell your own App. Become a bona fide entrepreneur and deploy your own disruptive innovation and Minimally Viable Product (MVP). This white-paper on lean startups by Steve Blank can help. I would also read the book by Eric Reis.

I adore commercials, and am the nerdy customer who actually watches them, despite my Verizon FIOS DVR que of taped shows. They inspire me, they fuel my productivity and creativity, and they make me laugh; all traits of being human. I especially adore the “Where’s Jeremy” T-Mobile ad, especially Day 3 ad where mom yells, “close an App!”. I think Jeremy definitely needs to close a few Apps and apologize profusely to his poor parents for giving them pounding headaches, for the bills, and for not indicating his whereabouts. It’s post 9-11, Jeremy, and post the Great Recession, Jeremy! I would think that staying frugal and connected would be important to you!

Ladies (and gentlemen), start your engines! Learn new things, check off that to-do list of your life, and stay human and curious! It’s time to open those Apps, especially if you already have that new iPad Air! Who knows what you could discover about yourself, and help others discover too…..






About penina4niceinitiative

Penina Rybak MA/CCC-SLP, TSHH, CEO of Socially Speaking LLC, is the author of "The NICE Reboot: A Guide to Becoming a Better Female Entrepreneur". She is an Autism specialist and educational technology consultant turned social entrepreneur. She is also a pediatric speech therapist and the creator of the Socially Speaking™ Program & iPad App. Her second book, "Autism Intervention in the iEra" was published in 2015. Since 2010, Penina has been a national/international speaker about social communication development, balancing humanity and technology, and best practices re: mobile and social technology. Connect with her on LinkedIn to learn more. You can also find her on Twitter: @PopGoesPenina, Facebook: Socially Speaking LLC, Google+ at The NICE Initiative for Female Entrepreneurship, and Pinterest and YouTube as well.
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