Whether you're talking to a colleague, friend, or even a perfect stranger, the conversation often is the same.
"How's it going?" "Good! Just busy."
This refrain is the default for so many people in our personal and professional circles. However, busyness shouldn't be viewed as a status symbol! It doesn't make us happier, and it doesn't make us more productive. It often means we are just misusing our time.
So why is everyone else running around stuck in the "busy trap"? And, more importantly, how can we get out!? These three suggestions may get you on your way to a change in mindset and some new-found freedom:
⋒ Prioritise ‘important’ vs ‘urgent’
Time is your most valuable resource, spend it accordingly. That means putting careful thought into your top priorities and removing unnecessary things from your schedule. A common mistake is to prioritise urgent tasks, not important ones. Dedicate time to important tasks rather than clogging your schedule with busy work that is urgent not important. This will dedicate your time to long-term goals.
⋒ Schedule based on your core values
Many people find that the more successful they are, the more people and things demand their time. High achievers know it's critical to prioritise things that are aligned with their personal and company core values and dedicate their time to the people who are most important.
Are you wasting time on things that will not matter in the long term? Are you missing out on time with your loved ones because you are doing unnecessary busy work? The answer to those questions will tell you a lot about how well you are designing your schedule.
⋒ Understand that you are accountable for how you spend your time
Only you can make conscious choices to limit your busyness and focus on top priorities. Managing your time is not easy! Many people go through their entire lives without figuring out how to do it. But simply saying "I'm busy" is a crutch that keeps leaders from evaluating and improving their time management.
And most importantly, don’t forget! There’s freedom in delegating!