I’m probably going to upset a few readers with this confession: One of my biggest pet peeves is when people tell me how busy they are.
These days, when you ask anyone how they’re doing you’ll likely hear things like, “Oh, I’m sooo busy,” or “It’s been crazy!” I don’t even think they realize what they’re saying; it’s just a habit.
Being “busy” has become a badge of honor in our society. Somehow, we have come to believe that if we aren’t constantly doing something (or telling others everything we’re up to) that we’ll be viewed as lazy.
(Related: Are You Promoting a Workaholic Culture?)
The work/life balance dilemma that’s affecting our society may be less about busy-ness and more about effectiveness (or ineffectiveness, as the case may be).
I help leaders like you take back control of your time and energy and view time in a completely different way.
Being busy is an excuse and is something that “happens” to you, making you feel like a victim. Many people feel pressured by imaginary time constraints they feel are being imposed on them by others, their work environment, or are even self-imposed.
Prioritizing your time is something you make a choice about, putting you in control. When you find yourself wanting to make the excuse of being too busy, it might be worthwhile to stop and evaluate how you’re spending your time and energy.
What if we were to lose the phrase, “I’m too busy,” and instead be more honest by saying, “I’m not prioritizing my time well.”
You’ve probably noticed that people can always make time to do the things that are most important to them.
If you catch yourself entering into a state of busyness, remember that sometimes you have to slow down to speed up.
Some people try to pack too much into the time they have. This is commonly known as being behind the power curve…In business, when you are caught behind the power curve, you need to take a deep breath, assess the reality of the situation, and reduce your commitments.” ~David Rohlander, The CEO Code
Here are a few things to do so you can change how you view time and how to manage your time and energy more wisely:
1) Decide you’re in control of your time.
Everyone has things they have to do, but when you realize that you get to choose when and how you do those things, you’ll feel a great sense of freedom and relief.
2) Change how you think and speak about time.
Eliminate the word busy from your vocabulary. Instead of looking at your schedule and thinking about how busy you are, instead ask yourself, “How am I prioritizing my time?”
3) Choose your priorities.
This means being intentional about planning your schedule and, more importantly, sticking to it. You may even need to schedule time for YOU (remember balance).
4) Stop procrastinating.
Everyone is guilty of doing this occasionally. When you say “no” to time wasters and clearly focus, you’ll accomplish more, faster!
5) Learn to say “no” without guilt.
If you need quiet time to focus, close your door. I give you permission to do work and not be available 24/7. When people need something and it’s not a good time, try saying this instead:
- “Right now I can’t meet/work on that. I can meet with you/get to it _________ (choose a time).”
- “My focus is on X right now and there’s not room for anything else.”
- “If you need X, my priorities must shift. Which do you need first (most)?”
My coaching clients have told me that when they can say “no,” they feel as if a huge burden has been lifted knowing they are choosing to engage in ways that better serve them and others.
Ready to do something cool that will help you own your time and forget being busy? Get my “Rule-Breaker’s Guide to Managing Your Energy at Work”.
Includes a 4-point energy + productivity assessment that helps you lose the activities that are draining your energy and re-focus on work that pumps you up!
Schedule a Complimentary Discovery Call with me today!