It’s certainly been a very strange time to be alive. We had terrible bushfires that then morphed into a 6-month and counting pandemic that has changed so many things in our lives. For business in particular, it’s changed the way many do what they do.

One thing hasn’t changed though: Everyone tells me that they’re too ‘busy’. In some ways, there are reports around that back this up with people suggesting that while they’re working at home/remotely, they’re ‘expected’ to put in more hours. I’m not sure that’s the case, but I can tell you one thing: I’m tired of nearly every conversation I have starting with some variation of “I’m great but I’m too busy”.

So, it led me to pose the question: Is everyone running around saying they’re busy the new definition of stupid?

Busy or just not efficient?

Before everyone starts slinging arrows at me…It’s easy to concede that it is a crazy period. Adjusting to new ways of working can be difficult and I don’t doubt for a second that there are plenty of hard-working individuals out there.

What it comes down to is this concept of being too busy. I get that it can feel like that. There are plenty of demands on everyone’s time and no one is ever going to find extra hours in a day. But the question is: Do we need to lead every conversation we have in our lives trying to out ‘busy’ each other?

It leads to another question: Are we all really that busy? Or are we just choosing to spend our limited hours per day on activities that aren’t proactive or efficient? There is an argument that we accept overreaching demands from our employers so there’s a certain amount of self-blame we can attach to work making us busy. The other question to ask here is: If we are really that busy, is it a case of just not managing our time efficiently?

Time management

Time management is one of those soft skills in business that many people scoff at but is absolutely crucial. It’s one that more of us could spend some time working on (no pun intended). In business, it’s crucial as no one wants to live to work. You need to take an approach that allows you to maximise your time to deliver what you need to deliver…but also factors in everything else you need out of life too.

It’s not just in a business setting either, it’s in our personal lives too. How many friends have you got in your life who are constantly late? Or always moving a catch up with you? Chances are that they are also struggling with efficiently managing their time. No one is perfect, but if it keeps happening, it’s a repeat behaviour and one that suggests their time is more important than yours.

The question to ask yourself is: Is this important enough to me? I guarantee if it is, then you’ll find a way to make it happen.

Taking accountability  

I’m not perfect, and I’m not suggesting that I am. I do, however, try to improve the way I manage my own time to ensure that I am as on top of this as possible. I try to lead a life that has time put aside for work, personal, and health activities. Running your own business isn’t easy at the best of times, so it does take work to make it as efficient as possible. The trick is focusing on keeping myself accountable. I challenge myself every day to do that, so when the alarm goes off at 5.30am for the gym, I bounce out of bed as quickly as I can.

Holding yourself responsible can be difficult, but it’s the first step in getting control back and avoiding throwing ‘busy’ into every conversation.

Does anyone else feel like we’re overusing the word busy? Keen to hear what you think, DM me here or email me at steve@projectprofessionalservices.com.au.