This week we look at one of my favourite topics about being so many saying they are too “busy”.
“Busy” Is Banned
Ever wonder why you are so “busy”? For the Building Circles followers, you may know “busy” is banned from the AlphaKORian’s dictionary. That is why it is in quotation marks. It really stands out when I hear this word several times a day. Hold on while I drop a couple of loonies in the banned words cuss jar!
Lots Of To Do’s
Everyone has a large number of things to do. They all need to get done! Some should have been completed yesterday, other things need our attention right away and it always seems there is not enough time to take care of it all. Does this sound familiar?
So how do we respond to this? Some of us panic, some get frustrated, and some talk about it to everyone they interact with while others stay focused, calm and prioritize. Working on the calm part and admitting it is easy to panic sometimes. I like to call it passion when I take it up a notch above calm. I am task-oriented and make a fresh task list for priority items first thing in the morning.
Eat That Frog First
Do the big task you do not overly enjoy first. Remember to Eat Tat Frog (Brian Tracey) and the rest of the day will be easier. No procrastinating. Take on that big ugly frog first. One system that works is First In, First Out. Many of us tend to take on a new task immediately and get frustrated when the other tasks do not get completed. The trick is to know when to add the new task to the top or not. This one is tougher than it sounds.
If we move to the Last In, First Out model, we tend to be less productive, scramble to take care of the other tasks and feel overwhelmed. Don’t fall into this trap. Breathe, and evaluate the latest task to see where it goes on the list. Thinking in terms of First In, First Out will help reduce that feeling of being “busy”.
The Right Answer Could Be No
Sometimes the right answer is to simply say no and it does not become part of your things to do. You can delegate some tasks to others and hold them accountable to complete them. You can group tasks together to be more efficient with your time.
Saying no is still difficult, however, I am getting better at it and still feel a bit bad when I do. Most understand when they ask if there is a chance you might say no and we need to accept this is okay.
Multi-tasking is not more efficient. How many conversations have you heard the person multi-tasking ask, “Sorry what was that again?” We are not built to read an e-mail while listening to someone talk to us. It takes discipline to focus, be in the moment and actually hear what the other person is saying. When the conversation is completed, go back to reading your e-mail.
Speaking of e-mails, how many hit your inbox every day or hourly? With all the incoming e-mails, social media traffic and other interruptions, it is no wonder we sometimes struggle to keep up. During this pandemic, all these have increased exponentially and lately many e-mails and voicemails go unanswered or the responses take a lot longer than usual. When we do connect, many times I hear how “busy” things are and are sorry it took so long to reply.
Just Do It
All of us have good and legitimate excuses for being too “busy”. One of the best answers is to Just Do It. Why do we invest so much time in explaining all the things we have to do and why do some need to share a story each time they complete something? Take all that time, channel it into your next task so you can focus on accomplishing more and continue along your day without constantly interrupting everyone around you.
Group your storytelling in shorter, less frequent interruptions and remember to ask others what they are doing, how they are feeling and how you can help. Most just want to be heard so stop and listen.
How “busy” are you today?