Busy, busy, and more busy


I’ll make this brief, in case you’re one of those perpetually busy folks who don’t have time to read an article about the perils of unbridled busyness.

A thought or two to chew on, and then you can get back to work.

Being busy with things that “move the needle,” that is, things that help you make significant progress towards your goals, is not a bad thing. Neither is being busy doing things that make you happy or give your life meaning.

Everything else—low value tasks, not-too-important projects, admin work, should not take up a lot of your time. You need that time to do important things.

Examine the things that are keeping you busy and make them earn their place on your calendar, task list, and in your mind. If something doesn’t make the grade, off with its head.

What about things that don’t contribute a lot of value, but still need to be done?

Maybe there’s something you can do about those, too.

For each “mandatory” task, take a minute and ask yourself:

  • Does it really have to be done? It might cost you something to not do it but it might be worth the price.
  • Does it have to be done by me? If not, delegate it.
  • Does it have to be done now? If not, postpone it and examine it at a later date. It might no longer be necessary, or you might have found a better way to do it.
  • Can I get some help so I don’t have to do everything myself?
  • Can I automate it, now or for next time?
  • Is there a way to do this more quickly?
  • Is there a way to make this easier?
  • How can I get more value out of this?

Being busy may be something you want clients and others to see, because busyness is often associated with success. But if you’re busy all the time and not getting the results you want, something has to change.

I suggest you start by making everything that’s keeping you busy earn its keep. Hopefully, you’re not too busy to do that.