September 1st, 2020

The Busyness Epidemic

"Being busy does not always mean real work. Seem to do is not doing". Thomas A.Edison

"How are you?" people ask.  The answer is almost always "SO BUSY". Just mad, hectic, crazy busy.  We are living in the age of the busyness epidemic.  If we aren't running around pulling our hair out at the sight of our overloaded to-do lists, we feel eerily ill at ease, or worse just plain unimportant.  

So why are we all running around like headless chickens, and how can we stop?   

1. Find joy in being highly selective: Most people, especially leaders, struggle to say “no.” In my experience working with executives, this is painfully true. Whether fear of social rejection or conflict, or to win favour with a boss, we say yes without thinking. “In practical interactions, we are rewarded for bad behaviour. We over commit. We are at least saying yes to someone, so we feel we’ve been helpful and therefore needed.” When you get internal clarity on what’s truly essential, you are able to say no. 

2. Change the response: Far too many of us have made “So busy!” the automatic answer to “How are you?” It has essentially become a replacement for a standard answer like good or fine, when what we’re really trying to say is “Successful! Wanted! Admired!” Instead of telling people that you’re busy, try talking about what you’re actually doing—the accomplishments that are making you feel busy and thus making you feel proud. For example, “I’m doing well! I just got a promotion and it’s given me the opportunity to travel quite a bit more.”

3. Stop multi-tasking during leisure time: We have plenty of “leisure time” in our lives but we’ve become accustomed to multi-tasking during our downtime—meal planning while we watch television, checking our email while we’re out to dinner, watching a webinar while we’re working out. Make sure to not only carve out time for yourself, but to actually acknowledge that you’re on the “leisure clock.” Don’t multitask—enjoy the downtime, and mentally label it as such.

4. Outsource and delegate more than you think you should: At the end of your day—every day!—write down two things that you did that someone else could have done for you. They might be administrative tasks, housework, or simply to-do items that someone else could have accomplished just as easily. The next day, delegate those items. You may think that you’re a great delegator and that you’re maximizing your productivity every day, but this simple habit will help you stretch your delegating skills each and every day.

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By Mary Murray | Posted in: Leadership , Leadership , Personal Development , Personal Development | 0 Comments


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