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The biggest lie of them all: “I’m too Busy!”

By Brad Barker

As a leader, how often do you hear this? Or, how often are you saying this?

 Take these words out of your vocabulary.

It is dishonest, and the furthest from the truth. Whenever someone says, “I am too busy”, they are lying to you. A lot of the time they are lying to themselves too.

Lying is a strong word and accusation, so let me break it down for you as to why I am saying this.

We all have the same amount of time in the day as everyone else. There is no getting around the fact that there are only 24 hours in a day.

Most mere mortals dedicate an amount of time to sleeping, eating, travelling, recreation, exercise, and family. Outside of this, we have work.

When we are at work, we have a list of things that are required to do, and most of us manage to fit those things in give or take a lunch break, or some over time.

However, whenever it becomes incumbent upon us to start doing a little more, or things become more demanding, this can be where we start to become what is most commonly known as… BUSY.

 Makes sense, right?

Okay, here comes the rub. Most of us, because we are list-making machines, simply add the extra demands on to our list.

We squeeze things in; we add different appointments and put higher expectations on ourselves because we believe it is imperative to complete the list.

When our list appears to be full, on the brink of being overburdened and overwhelmed, another request comes through. This is usually where people start throwing out the phrase, “I am too busy”.  

Sometimes it is held up like a badge of honour. Sometimes, it is worn as though it were an Olympic medal. Then you have those people that hold it up like a cross to a vampire.

My challenge to ‘busy’ people out there is to stop using the phrase ‘I’m too busy’ and replace it with, ‘it is not a priority’.

See how that changes your world and your perspective.

If someone working for me tells me it is not a priority, then it falls on me to decide what his or her priorities should be.

This is a far more honest way of working and getting through the large amount of work that may be in front of you at the time. 

If an activity is before you that will potentially derail your list, stop and ask yourself: 

“Is this task a priority?”

If it is, then where does it rank in the list of priorities that I have?

Your top priorities should be given the most amount time dedicated to them.

 Things that are not a priority should be taken off your list, or simply moved to a later timeslot.

Prioritise your tasks, stop using the word busy and start taking back your work life.

Some people are addicted to being busy. It is like a warm blanket that protects them from taking on new tasks, from being controlled, or to simply send a message to colleagues that they are important.

Is that you, or someone in your team? Start helping yourself, or them by changing the vocabulary that you use. 

How much more effective can we be once we know where our priorities lie?

Want to learn more? Contact SG Partners, today!