- Jared Leto is an actor, singer, and investor who owns parts of Snapchat, Spotify, and Reddit.
- He says that his best strategy to manage everything is to “just f—ing work.”
- That’s why you’ll never find him at networking breakfasts or “doing lunch.”
- Anyone can apply his strategy. Some psychologists and productivity experts recommend eschewing networking in favour of “real work” that gets things done.
Jared Leto is busy. He’s an actor, recently featured in films such as Blade Runner 2049. He’s the lead singer in the band 30 Seconds to Mars. And he’s an investor who owns parts of Snapchat, Spotify, and Reddit.
That is to say, Leto tries to focus on the stuff that produces results — not the stuff that makes him look good or that someone rich and famous is supposed to do.
“I love to work. I don’t do dinners, I don’t do lunches, I don’t do breakfasts. I don’t do breakfast with people. I just f—ing work. That’s what I love to do, and it serves me well because I like to make things and share them with the world … and I do not take it for granted for a single second.”
Leto might be onto something, especially in his disinclination to schmooze over meals.
Wharton psychologist Adam Grant published an op-ed in The New York Times arguing that networking doesn’t necessarily lead to success — more often than not, it’s the other way around. If Leto wants to make his mark as a great investor, he’d do well to focus more on the investing piece and less on the “meeting other cool people” piece.
“I hate wasting time,” Leto said during the interview. “I’m obsessed with efficiency. I’ve been practicing I’m sure what a lot of you people here [in the audience] have been practicing, which is saying no — even things that are good opportunities.”
(Leto noted that perhaps he should have declined the invitation to speak at the D.Luxe conference.)
You don’t have to be as high-profile as Leto to apply his productivity strategy in your own life.
Essentially, what Leto’s talking about is doing “real work,” which is time-management expert Laura Vanderkam’s term for work that moves you and your organisation forward. That probably doesn’t include checking your inbox, or taking non-mandatory meetings, or colour-coding your agenda.
The point here is that being more productive depends heavily on knowing what’s worth your efforts and what’s not. And ultimately, you’re the only person who can make those decisions.
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