EP – 187 Doing Busy Right with Larry Tribble

Larry Tribble, PhD, joins us this week to discuss how busy professionals can be productive in managing their professional and personal lives. Larry and I start our discussion by defining what a typical knowledge worker experiences concerning minimum direction and oversight by the management team we report to. We compare the state of management and the working environment today to that of forty to fifty years ago. As part of that comparison, we discuss how pride in creating space for leisure activities signals your success in your professional life. Now, it seems the opposite is true. We see people bragging about how busy and indispensable they are, leaving little time for self-development, personal fulfillment, and even family and grandchildren.

As our conversation progresses, Larry talks about how humans enjoy being busy or occupied. He also talks about how we sometimes confuse activity for productivity. We agree that being busy tends to be an activity that does not move a task or goal forward or at least not noticeably further. Productivity, on the other hand, is focused action that purposely moves to close out a task or accomplish a goal. Larry discusses the roadblocks to focused work as we continue our conversation about being busy versus productive. We further discuss his Attention Compass program, which successfully helps professionals learn or relearn to focus on what is essential for themselves and their teams.

Larry lists the following as roadblocks or waste to doing busy right:

  • Interruptions – This is pretty self-explanatory. These are all the items that take us out of our flow or mindset for the task that we are working on.
  • Multi-tasking – There is no such thing. There is mult-focus, which takes an already limited resource and diminishes it by creating other tasks or goals with the result of work that is often sub-par to what we could have accomplished by defending our time and mindset.
  • Distraction – This waste of effort often allows thoughts or external stimuli to pop up, keeping us from getting into a work groove and putting our best efforts and abilities into the task at hand.

We next pivot to a discussion about Larry’s father, his impact on Larry growing up, and how his father and mother embraced becoming grandparents to two adopted children. Larry does a great job in telling us how his father and mother took the new family members to heart and, in typical grandparent fashion, might have gone a bit overboard that first Christmas. Larry and I also discuss fathers’ roles as coaches and mentors in their adult children’s lives.

You will enjoy this conversation with Larry, and I encourage you to share it with friends and family. You can also connect with Larry through the links and email addresses below.


Use this link to sign up for Grandparents Week. This is a great free resource for grandparents: https://training.grandparentsacademy.com/a/2147832178/ikxv5HFd.

Here is Larry’s email address should you want to send him a question or even provide him with feedback about what you found valuable in our conversation: [email protected]

Click on this link to visit Larry’s website, Do Busy Right: https://dobusyright.com/

If you would like to connect with Larry through LinkedIn, you can use this link to view his profile: https://www.linkedin.com/in/larrytribble/

You can check out this conversation over on YouTube as well by clicking this link: https://youtu.be/a1S0iO_DD8w

Affiliate Links

These are links to products and services that I highly recommend AND use. I do get a percentage of the purchases you make.

More than GrandMore Than Grand is an excellent resource for new grandparents AND parents. Listeners of The Cool Grandpa Podcast enjoy 10% off any fantastic products that More Than Grand provides by entering COOLGRANDPA10 at checkout. To visit More Than Grand, click HERE.

Intentional Grandfathering MasterclassGrandfathers have a unique and meaningful role to play in grandchildren’s development, yet they often find themselves behind the scenes, on the sidelines, or less engaged than they’d like to be. This masterclass delivers a playbook for helping grandfathers level up their influence and impact. Listeners to The Cool Grandpa Podcast can receive 40% off this course by using Cool40 at checkout.

Grandparents academyFounded in 2011 by Aaron Larsen as a way to honor his grandparents, GrandparentsAcademy.com is the world’s first and only online academy dedicated to helping grandparents grow meaningful relationships and rich legacies with their loved ones.

My Grandpa’s Grandpa

When it is time for bed, Charlie’s grandpa tucks Charlie in. Charlie asks his grandpa many questions about his grandpa’s grandpa. Charlie’s grandpa shares a magical moment as he introduces Charlie to his great-grandpa through fun memories.


This is my children’s book, created to entertain and inspire conversations about other family members that the children may not have had the opportunity to meet.



If you prefer an eBook, you can download the Kindle version by clicking on this LINK.

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