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The Paradox of Busywork

September 09, 20235 min read

Scott P. Scheper
Orange County, California
Thursday, 2:54 p.m.


Dear Friend,

Have you ever heard of the saying, "If you want a task done quickly, ask a busy person to do it."

What's that? You have heard of this saying before?

Well it's true. And yes——it's counter-intuitive.

You see, the fact is...



Because they're already in a state of momentum!

We——and by "we" I mean "I"——yes, I, Sir Scott of Scheper——even I can easily get distracted by the idea of eliminating all "busywork" in order to focus on things that matter.

And to a large degree, I have eliminated a lot of busywork from my life.

But some busywork must never be eliminated.

And here's why: You see, "busywork" is often the thing that keeps you productive.

Listen——here's a true story from my own life...

I took the entire year off in 2020 (not because of COVID, mind you, but because I wanted free time to write.)

I eliminated all "busywork" from my life that year in order to have the time and energy to write a book.

And guess what happened?


Seriously——and actually——it's even worse: I didn't even PRODUCE one thing all year!

I spent the entire year traveling around Europe (yes, even during COVID), and I spent my days reading Hemingway, and smoking cigars and drinking chardonnay on ice (the real man's drink).

That may sound nice to you. But I grew bored——even freaking depressed! And this was after only a few short months.

In terms of knowledge output, I didn't produce one thing in 2020.

When January of 2021 arrived, I was fed up. I didn't want to have another unproductive year.

So what did I do?


I had no idea what the hell I was going to write, but I didn't care. I decided to do one thing every day——and that is, I decided to write one thing every single day.

(You can view the result of this exercise if you dig deep enough in the Archive section of my website.)

By writing every day, I started to gain momentum.

That year, I ended up writing the vast majority of what became the Antinet Zettelkasten book.

All of this came as the result of getting myself into a state of momentum. I got myself into a state of momentum by deciding to commit to writing on a regular basis.

Today, as you probably know, I write a physical monthly newsletter every month. This requires a considerable amount of time and mental energy. To many, it could be considered "busywork"——especially when you compare the revenue it generates to other things (like courses, software, and high-end consulting).

Yet——the paradox is——without my physical monthly newsletter, I'd have a difficult time doing any of those other "higher value" activities!

This reminds me of something the great writer, F. Scott Fitzgerald, experienced the hard way.

Believe it or not, about 80% of F. Scott Fitzgerald's lifetime income did not come from writing novels.

Rather, most of his income came through writing short stories. Fitzgerald wrote short stories and sold them to magazines about once a month.

His "master plan" was to "do magazine stories only to underwrite his novels——to get financially ahead so that he could devote six months or a year to uninterrupted work on a novel."[1]

Guess how this worked out for Fitzgerald?


Fitzgerald would write enough stories and save up enough money to last him six months, however, "he usually wasted his time and money."[1]

Fitzgerald ended up writing 164 short stories in his lifetime. These included fantastic pieces like, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, which was turned into a film starring——Brad Pitt (a man many men would openly turn gay for——but not Scott Scheper, I totally swear).


Fitzgerald's plan was to write these short stories so that he could take six months off to write novels. But this never happened. He actually wrote nothing at all when he had zero busywork!

And as one scholar observed of Fitzgerald's work, "It may well be that the stories are what readers have: not instead of novels, but instead of nothing."[1]

The "mechanism" that kept Fitzgerald in a state of momentum were his short stories (usually written monthly).

The "mechanism" that keeps me in a state of momentum is my physical monthly newsletter, The Scott Scheper Letter.

It is my goal to help you develop your own "mechanism" of momentum.

And personally speaking, I hold the physical monthly newsletter as the best device for keeping your mind sharp.

The physical monthly newsletter is the best device for keeping you in a state of momentum. Trust me!

In January of 2024, I will be unveiling my top secret project. It's called Write to Freedom.

I have been working on it for the entirety of 2023 and I can't wait to share it with you. If you want to become an independent writer, creator, and thinker, then it's something that will change your life.

If you want to make six figures writing one thing a month——and also have a recurring wealth-generating asset, then you can request a private invitation here:

If accepted, you will receive a personal invitation to learn more when it launches in January 2024.

I can't to share more about it with you.

Warm regards,

And always remember,

To stay crispy, my friend.

Scott P. Scheper

"A Man Who Wants to Give You Your Write to Freedom."

P.S. If you're interested in a 30-day trial of the best physical monthly newsletter in the world about knowledge, writing, and marketing, please visit the following link:


[1] Matthew J. Bruccoli and Scottie Fitzgerald Smith, Some Sort of Epic Grandeur: The Life of F. Scott Fitzgerald, second edition (Columbia: University of South Carolina Press, 2002), 141.

Scott P. Scheper

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