“Sometime in the mid-nineties when I was juggling multiple responsibilities as executive director of the North Carolina office of Public Allies, most of my structured routines for managing tasks and time crashed. My engineer-like ways of making lists and checking boxes did not work when dealing with the needs and creative sparks of close to 30 people. At the same time, my friend Julia was thinking about time and how people create meaningful flow in their days. Julia volunteered to be my coach as part of her learning process. In those sessions, I learned that while I like structure, I also resist it. I gave up wearing a watch so that time would not be attached to my body. I rely on what I learned from Julia every day.

Julia Scatliff O’Grady has now written a book documenting the practices that she learned from working with dozens of people. GOOD BUSY: Productivity, Procrastination, and the Endless Pursuit of Balance tells the stories of how ten people find the space and time to live the lives they want to live. It’s a book of stories each with a theme. From a photographer who also leads an academic institution, we learn about finding slivers of time to integrate creative work into a life of administrative tasks. From a bus driver, we learn about using mirrors to see the wide perspective. From Mr. Rogers’ operations manager, we learn about the importance of ritual. Stories help us understand other ways of being; and Julia’s book does a great job of illuminating many potential examples. I know that I will return to this short accessible book many times as I wander through my own quest for a good busy that feels right for me.”
Meredith Emmett, Third Space Studio Newsletter, Sept. 2012

“Like the face of a clock, time is the central focus of this book, and author Julia Scatliff O’Grady ticks around the topic of time with brisk and pithy profiles of people who have learned how to take care of themselves in our ever-accelerating society. Time management is a tired term that’s not broad enough to capture the scope and wisdom of these meditations. It’s a book worth keeping near and reading over and over.”
Georgann Eubanks, Literary Trails of  North Carolina (3 Vols.)


“Julia Scatliff O’Grady made the time to step back and think deeply about how we use time itself. She helps us see that much of the change we’d like to create in our lives and in the world around us begins with changing how we think about time. O’Grady packs the book with learnings that are personal, provocative, practical, and ultimately deeply spiritual. What more can a great book do than help you think anew about how to live your life? “
Bill Shore, The Cathedral Within: Transforming Your Life by Giving Something Back

“O’Grady has assembled a true diversity of folks to enlighten us in GOOD BUSY. Their lessons learned about time, rendered in precise and elegant language, make this book an absolute treasure that will captivate anyone who has ever wondered: Why don’t I have more time?”
Faulkner Fox, Dispatches from a Not-So-Perfect Life

“In a world of constant change, growing distractions, and information deluge, it is so easy to end up multi-tasking ourselves into exhaustion. Julia’s book has some important reminders and practical lessons on how to shift the balance in our lives from ‘bad busy’ to ‘good busy.’‘”
Heather McLeod Grant, Forces for Good: The Six Practices of High Impact Non-Profits

“O’Grady’s beautifully drawn portraits of 10 busy people were a mirror for my own busyness. I learned a lot—and I am sure you will too.”
Mark Gerzon, Leading Through Conflict and American Citizen, Global Citizen

“O’Grady cuts right to the heart of the matter of time and how we live our lives. GOOD BUSY is full of truths that speak to wherever we are on the journeys and whoever we are. Some of the practices already leapt off the page and seared themselves into my daily life.”
Claudia Horwitz, The Spiritual Activist


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