Thursday, January 10, 2013
If you're like me, you have a running list of want-to-dos. My list runs the gamut from "make a dress" to "finish a 5,000 piece jigsaw puzzle." Often, these lists sit untouched for months and years. Why? Because we're busy. Haven't talked to your old friend in months? We're busy.
The truth is, for most, busy is a glorified excuse, one that has been pervasive in American workplaces for decades. It makes one feel important, as if they're just in too much demand.
The harder truth is...we're not that important. And acting busy, and saying we're busy, doesn't mean we're getting more work done. In fact, putting up a wall and pushing people away can actually stymie productivity.
Yes, we can be genuinely, truly, too busy for some things. Things we should be saying no to. But overusing the busyness excuse, like overuse of most other things, dilutes its meaning, so here are a few things to think about before you pull out the busy excuse next time.
Sometimes an ask is small. And sometimes taking 2 minutes out of your day to help someone can strengthen a business relationship.
Goal or goof?
We all have a role to play in our workplaces and goals to meet for each review period. You should make time for those things that help you meet your goals, and perhaps edit out some of the things that don't.
Be honest, but helpful.
There will be times where you really can't help with what is being asked, whether by necessity (there really just isn't time) or by preference (it's not a priority). If you're truly busy, be sincere...no one likes to be brushed off. But if you can point someone in the right direction to find the help they need, do so.
It's not about you.
Like I said before, we're not all that important. Before you go all "how dare she ask me to help!" take a step off your high horse and think about whether you're helping or hindering the bigger cause.
Being busy has been the de rigueur humble-brag in offices for far too long. Let's be honest with ourselves—and others—and we can get rid of it once and for all.
What do you think about busy for busyness sake? Do you see this in your office, too?