It never fails – I arrive at a conference and see someone I know walking towards me. We smile, give a friendly wave, and immediately jump into: “How are you!?” I do my best to not say it.  I focus on what to say and tell them life and business is good –  fun and challenging at times, but still good. Then, I ask them how they are. I know they are going to say it.  I hope they don’t. They start to speak and I fear it’s coming…..yep, they said it: 

“I’m sooooo busy.”

I sigh. 

Why is everyone so busy?   Are we truly soooo busy? Or, are we spending our days focused on non-essential tasks? For example, if everyone is so busy – why are they attending every conference this year? I bet their conference goal is not to find tools and resources to improve the “busy-ness” factor in their lives.  I guarantee I’ll see them a year from now and they will still be soooo busy.

Often, we feel that being busy correlates with being needed and important in our role. We believe that if we had nothing to do, our position would be unjustified; or that if we aren’t busy it somehow means that we aren’t doing our job well.   Why can’t being “not-busy” simply be a reflection of how efficient we are in our roles?

Now, I’m not going to lie and say I am never busy; of course I am.  (As I write this I’m actually feeling a bit overwhelmed by my to-do lists.) But rather than simply saying I’m busy and letting that rule my life, I choose to ask myself, “Why am I so busy and what can I do to not be?”  Personally, I go through my daily to-dos and identify tasks that are not essential and really shouldn’t be prioritized and then get rid of them.

Some of you may be saying: “But, I’m a one-person office; someone has to do it.” Fair – but when was the last time you asked yourself:

Are all these tasks/duties actually essential?
Is someone actually holding me accountable for completing these?

If the answer is no, then, as our dear friend Elsa would say: Let it GO!   

Curious about ways you can minimize your busy-ness? Join IEP’s free webinar led by our very own Ginny Garzón.  Sign up here!

Scott Tayloe
IEP Executive Consultant

PS – Sorry/Not sorry that you will now be singing Frozen songs for the rest of the day.