“I’m so busy?” It’s an excuse, an apology and sometimes a greeting. Did you know that this “go to” saying might actually be making you less productive? We often attribute our busyness to being as sign of the times, that in this technological age we are all working longer hours and taking on more responsibilities. But were our predecessors really any less busy? Without modern luxuries like a dishwashers and microwaves, previous generations had as many time consuming tasks as we do.
So what can you do to stop yourself saying “I’m so busy” and feeding the frenzy? Here are 3 ideas:
1. Be More Efficient – If you’re working over 80 hours a week, stop and think how much real work you’re getting accomplished. I have written before about the benefits of working smarter and not harder. A quick way to be instantly more efficient is to outsource what you can, stop doing simple tasks that someone else can do for you.
2. Learn the Difference Between Important and Urgent – Just because something seems like it needs to be done imminently, it doesn’t mean it is important. Tasks like emails and phone calls may grab you attention, but they can often wait until after you’ve completed more pressing tasks. When something new pops up – I write it down on my ongoing to-do list. I don’t have to do it right this second but if it’s on my list then I know it will get done at some point and not forget about it.
3. Teach Co-Workers to Help Themselves – Often co-workers will come to you asking for help in locating files or looking for information. Rather than finding this for them, show your co-workers how to find out this information for themselves to save you time further down the road. If you constantly just do things for other people without showing them how to help themselves you will continue to add more to your plate. Remember just a few minutes of doing a task that you don’t need to be doing could throw off your entire productivity schedule.