Sorry I was rude to you the other day, someone said. I’ve just been so busy.
Guess what: we’re all busy!
Every one of us. It’s not a very exclusive club.
And here’s another reality check: because we’re all busy, no one really cares about how busy someone else is. One way or another, we all make time for what’s important to us.
In a group project, a person who freaks out about being busy will stall, defer, and generally keep everyone else waiting on them. They use busyness as an excuse for poor performance. Sometimes it’s faster to put this person in a room by themselves and let them whine while you do their job for them.
A person in control of being busy will keep the project moving forward at all costs. They like deadlines, direct communication, and tough assignments. That’s the kind of person you want on your team. If you’re serving on someone else’s team, that’s the kind of person you should be.
The strategies for dealing with being “so busy” are pretty basic:
1) Be less busy. If being busy really prevents you from doing something you want, stop being so busy. It’s not that complicated.
2) Stop complaining and enjoy it. Personally, I like busy. I had fun visiting the islands last week, but islands can be sleepy little places. In Fiji I sat by the pool for an hour, but then I got bored and went back to working on my projects.
I wrote to Pam, my partner on the upcoming $100 Business Forum: “What do you think about starting three weeks early?”
Pam wrote back: “Bring it on!”
And thus we’re starting on February 1 instead of March 8. I already knew she was the right partner for this project, but that was good confirmation. Busy people tend to do more, not less — but either way, being “so busy” that you become overwhelmed doesn’t help anyone.
P.S. Wondering how to help with relief efforts in Haiti? Partners in Health has been one of the most well-regarded charities in the country for two decades, with a wide network of clinics and local staff. Join me in making a donation here.
Image by La Nina