3.9 Busy-ness

Posted by Mike Kaaks

08 October 2019

Here is a topic that buck’s the trend in this book. We are starting with the negative to anchor the discussion, and from there search for the positive. Busy-ness is something that we have come to value over the last 15 years or so. As I write I can hear people going up to their offices in the lift each morning enquiring of each other “how’s it going?” or “how are you?”. The reply most often heard is “I’m flat out” or “I’ve got so much on the go”. And it seems we have come to value this reply. The busy person must be making a real difference to our business.

Over the same time we have come to have less time to apply to our busy-ness because of the unending meetings organised in our electronic diaries. What looked like a good thing at first, a way to do time management better and more efficiently now looks the opposite. It creates supports us in creating work days in which we lurch from meeting to meeting, making commitments in each one that we have no time to deliver. Not today, or tomorrow, which is already full of it’s own meetings.

I’ve encountered many ideas to deal with this madness such as changing the default setting in your system from 60 minutes to 45. But if you don't act to grasp those 15 minutes this becomes fruitless. Another is to block out some hours as unavailable in your calendar so you can’t be booked for meetings and you can get something done. The gets eroded when you see invitations turn up any way, or when colleagues learn the days and time of your block-outs and come around for some quality face to face discussion.

The challenge is deeper; the solution is down to the choices we make and the standards we apply. There’s the question of the value of each meeting. Is it challenged and shortened or cancelled if little value can be found? Are there other ways to get the same work done? Finally, if we are to have the meetings, do we rigorously apply good meetings management?

Do you feel too busy?

...like a lizard drinking

  • Lack of self care
  • Survival mode
  • 5 o'clock cringe
  • Lateness
  • Eating is a multi-task component
  • Relationship stress
  • Lateness
  • Drifting away from your anchors
  • Endless meetings
  • Few opportunities for feeling successful

On top of things

  • Plenty of time to think
  • About my work
  • About my life
  • About new ideas
  • Delivering my commitments
  • Supporting and developing my people
  • Time outside work not clouded with work thoughts

Absolutely You