(Whenever I research things to use at work with my students, I inevitably find things that help me improve my own life, which means there’s new material for me to share with you; hence this post. Hope you enjoy!)
Recently I stumbled across an article on how being busy is no longer cool. Usually we tend to think that if we’re busy, we’re more productive and thus more important. Not necessarily true. The truth is that being “too busy” could mean that you lack time management skills, confidence in your work, or even worse: that we lack time for some of the most important things in life (family, friends, self-care, fun, etc.). “Busy” is also a highly contagious epidemic. The minute we hear someone talking about how busy they are, we feel obligated to become busy, too! We feel bad about ourselves when we don’t have meetings or conferences calls to attend, so we start to look for things to fill up our valuable time. And before you know it, everyone is frantically shuffling papers or fumbling around on their phones to look important. The truth is (according to the Pareto Principle) that 20% of our input leads to 80% of our output. In short, working longer hours doesn’t mean that you actually get more work done. Another article stated that,
“20% of the activities, people, and events in your life lead to 80% of your stress just as 20% of the activities, people, and events in your life lead to 80% of your happiness.”
After reading that I really realized that being busy is not synonymous with being hard-working and I felt silly for not using my time wisely.
Then I found another article on the Daily Muse by, Erin Greenawald, entitled, “The Easiest Way to See if You’re Spending Your Time Right” that featured a neat way of visualizing how we spend our 24 hours. I completed the chart and could actually see that on any given day, I actually do have time to relax, call home, catch up on emails, and…exercise. That was when I realized that I talked about being busy so much that I actually started to believe that I didn’t have enough time in a day. But after drawing out my schedule I couldn’t deny that there was some time left open. So I’m challenging you to do two things:
- Take an honest look at your time. Those 2 or 3 hours that you spend watching tv or tweeting could be used for some of those important things that you think you “never have time to get done”. But you won’t realize that until you actually see it – on paper – in black and white. Numbers don’t lie.
- Ban busy. Stop saying it, stop feeding that monster, stop using that as your response to the friendly, “How are you doing today?” When you speak about how busy you are, you give yourself permission to feel stressed and you drag others into the “I’m too busy and important” facade.
Click the pic, print out my #BanBusy time-sheet below, and see how you can start making time and using it wisely. **Be sure to read the instructions below the printout**