How busy would you say you are? Would you not agree that many of your friends and colleagues are all saying roughly the same thing, along the lines: “Yeah, I’m super busy. Lots of stuff going on….” Some would consider it a badge of honour to be so busy. Others might feel that they are the victim of a 24-hour clock. Many (most) rue the lack of free time. As a result, things are necessarily falling through the cracks, shoddy work is getting done, critical communications are not getting through, people are showing up late all the time and, worse of all, people are burning out. Being too busy, I am convinced, is one of the biggest issues in business, especially in these frenetic times, where strategic thought is as important as mental & physical wellbeing. [tweetthis]Being too busy is one of the biggest issues in business, especially in these frenetic times, where #strategic thought is as important as mental & physical #wellbeing. [/tweetthis]
The choices you make
And yet… I submit that, for the vast majority of people reading this blog, it’s a choice to be so busy. Even when you have an over-ambitious boss, it’s a choice you are making to say yes to each and every command. Even if you have the privilege of working for a well-known brand or a high-paying consultancy, these are the choices you make going in. Going down to the other end of the pay scale, one can be busy because one is working for an understaffed NGO or volunteering time for a charity. Working for or at such organisations is also a choice. We all need to take responsibility for the choices we make.
Plan for the unexpected
But busy is not just about the time spent at work. Outside of the workplace, we will all have other commitments and constraints. We rush from work to go and “live” those moments. yet, the traffic lights might always seem to run against you. The call to your mother might take longer than anticipated. Or the visits to the doctors’ offices might be too many and too frequent. But that’s the way life rolls. The unexpected is part of the journey. We’ve got to plan for the unexpected, know that things will not always go according to plan and embrace that difference.
Make it your business NOT TO BE SO BUSY
When you don’t have time to get back to the people who are important to you, when you let slip VIP customers’ calls, when you find you are always excusing yourself for being late or not replying sooner, when you don’t have time to be nice… These are the consequences of the choices you have been making all along. Instead, you might be procrastinating with a video game; or spending too long surfing the internet; you might be struggling with your device because you never bothered to read the instructions or take a course; you might be rushing to the train station because you forgot to check the itinerary in advance… It’s not just about time management. It’s about making strategic choices in what we want to accomplish longer term and who we want to be.[tweetthis]It’s about making #strategic choices in what we want to accomplish longer-term and who we want to be. #strategy [/tweetthis]
If life is too busy and you’re falling behind at an uncomfortable level, then you need to take stock because it takes (lock) stock (and barrel) of you.[tweetthis]If life is too busy and you’re falling behind at an uncomfortable level, then you need to take stock because it takes (lock) stock (and barrel) of you.[/tweetthis]