How to Overcome Busyness

By Guest Blogger: Ken Byler, Owner, Higher Ground Consulting Group, LLC

Today’s modern world loves busyness. We employ colloquialisms to capture its frenetic nature. “I’m busy as a bee.” “I’m so busy I don’t know if I’m coming or going.” “I’m just trying to keep my head above water.” It sounds like being busy is worth emulating, even virtuous.

How might busyness impact the quality of our life and relationships? What is the real price for fast paced living or pursuing a paycheck? Does getting off the hamster wheel mean we aren’t contributing?

Busyness prevents true engagement and relationship building. It is our excuse to ignore meaningful conversation. It is our defense when we are late for meetings or family events. It is our ruse for feigning importance when our cellphone rings.

Can we actually influence the crazy last-minute demands of our boss, navigate the crushing workloads of our offices, or resist the incessant chatter of a social media world?

Here are some specific things you can do to stem the tide of busyness. They are offered here in no particular order and come from a variety of sources, including personal experience.

  • Change your speech. Stop using phrases like “swamped,” “crazy busy,” or “underwater” to describe your schedule. They imply you have no real control, but you do.
  • Expect things to go wrong. Organize your day, even your week, anticipating interruptions.
  • Focus. Busyness is the enemy of focus. Schedule uninterrupted planning time and respect it.
  • Allow time to breathe. Stop trying to fit one more thing into your morning routine or finishing an email before the next meeting. Add extra time to appointments.
  • Sharpen your pruning skills. Set limits and cut back. Negotiate with team members and family to prune some of what you are doing. Learn to delegate and eliminate.
  • Unplug. Turn off devices during meetings and lunches, check email less frequently, and stop monitoring workplace activities from home.
  • Do what you can. Don’t expect too much of yourself, at least not at first. It will be challenging to change a habit or establish a new routine. Give yourself some grace.

When our lives are in relative balance it will positively impact our health, self-esteem, relationships, and work, including how we lead. If you are caught in the “rat race” consider this final thought.

You will never get everything done, but you can accomplish what matters most.

Filed in: Client News