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I Am Too Busy

I am too busy

I am too busy

Do you ever have one of those days when you feel you are: Too busy to be productive?

You are having a busy but non-productive day, a day when you are working hard but you are not making much progress.

Do you ever have days like that? Many people do.

Many people have days when they work hard all day long, they put in a lot of effort, but at the end of the day, they have the horrible feeling that they have made no significant progress towards their goals. They have been treading water, keeping afloat, managing crises and setbacks, but not making any real or rapid progress.

Busy v productive days

There is a big difference between "being busy" and "being productive", isn't there?

  • You cannot be too productive; but you can be too busy.
  • You are paid for your productivity; you are not paid to be busy.
  • Some people exert lots of effort, but they don't make much progress.

So, it is vital that we distinguish between two concepts. We need to distinguish between being busy and being productive.

  • Busyness is defined as: a measure of your activity.
  • Productiveness is defined as: a measure of your achievement.

Think of these two concepts as being on a sliding scale.

Personal Effectiveness : I am too busy

  • At one end you have: busy but non-productive days - our most hated enemy.
  • At the other end you have: productive but non busy days - our best friend.
  • And in the middle you have: productive and busy days. This is where most of us would claim to be. You would probably say that you are a busy, productive member of the group.

We have to avoid sliding down the scale, becoming busier, but not more-productive. We have to aim to slide up the scale, to become more productive, but less busy.

So here is the key question: What is getting in the way of you becoming more productive?

There are three major causes of a person being non-productive.

  • Your own bad habits (Self)
  • Other people (Others)
  • Poor systems (Systems)

Self, Others, Systems - SOS

Question 1. What bad habits do you have that cause you to be non-productive?

Everyone has bad habits that have the effect of making them less productive than they otherwise would be, if they did not have those habits.

What are your worst two bad habits and what are you going to do to fix them?

Write down your answers.

Question 2. Who at work wastes your time?

Who are the people who interrupt you and keep taking you out of the productive zone and dumping you into the busy zone?

What are you going to do to minimise their effect on your productiveness?

Write down your answers.

Question 3. What are the work systems that waste your time?

What are the two most inefficient systems that you have in your office?

What are you able to do to make these systems less inefficient and more efficient?

Write down your answers.

S.O.S. Self. Others. Systems

Each week you need to answer these three questions and act on the answers. You need to engage in a process of continuous improvement and act to improve:

  • Yourself.
  • The Others.
  • The Office Systems.

You need to eliminate busyness and initiate more productiveness. Make it so!

Time Management Questionnaire Time Management Questionnaire

Time Management Questionnaire

Many people are not very good at time management. As a result they are in a constant state of crisis, and they are not as effective as they would otherwise be. Take this questionnaire to find out your time management strengths and weaknesses - it is free, informative and fun.

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Further Reading in Personal Effectiveness

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