1 April 2020
As we head into a new year I reflect on a commonly asked question which has become a conversational crutch: “How’s it going?” Invariably, the response: “Good! Just busy.”
This exchange is appears to be found everywhere in both our personal & professional lives. It is as if busyness carries a certain status symbol. Yet, being” busy” does not make us happier; & it does not make us more productive. It just means we are filling all of our available time.
Even though I still find the phrasing “I am busy!” on the tip of my tongue when someone asks me how I have been, I make a conscious effort & try not to say it. I try being the operative word, & given the lack of productivity all around us these days, try it certainly is.
Instead of hopelessly waiting to be given the gift of more free time, consider what high-achievers do to stay focused and accomplish large, long-term goals. They:
- Accept time is a precious & fixed resource
- Know how to separate Urgent from Important
- Align their top priorities with their core purpose & values
- Do not book 100% of their time; they value rests & relaxation
- Constantly look for things they should stop doing
- Are selective about the people they give their energy to.
When an important task is not getting done, it is important to acknowledge & admit you have chosen to spend your time on less important tasks (for example, posting on Facebook & Instagram). Instead of saying “I did not have enough time,” try saying “I chose to do X today instead of Y” or “I am getting distracted” or “I am focusing on the negative things.” Or perhaps even better; I am focusing on something which does not work towards my goals. This honesty & accountability will help you use your time more wisely, accomplish more & be less “busy.”
Conversely, it also important to take time & relax, not actually have a desire to achieve anything for a period. Hopefully, this is what many of us have done recently over the holiday season.