Published: February 26th, 2019; By: Judi Hughes

I was at a networking event recently when I overheard this conversation:

“How are you?” asks business owner #1.

“I’m crazy busy! I don’t even have time to think”, answered business owner #2 with great pride.

Their exchange startled me and got me thinking. Does the “I’m crazy busy!” mantra validate us in some way?  Does it make us feel we are important and in great demand? Do we measure our success by our busyness?

To me, “I’m crazy busy!” says you are frantic and out of control.  You don’t have time for me or anything else.  It indicates stress and frenzy.  I don’t want to do business with someone who is that busy.  I would never be sure they had time for me.  I’d be doubtful of their ability to make wise decisions on my behalf.  Probably not the intention but certainly the translation.

We’ve all been there at one time or another.  Too many things to get done in too little time; it happens.  However, it becomes a problem when being busy becomes a way of life that permeates into the culture of how we operate and how people relate to us.

Are we really sooo busy? Do we really want to be perceived as crazy busy? Is that the image we want our team and our clients to have of who we are and how we work?

Certainly, isn’t what I want!  Here are some things we can do about it right now:

  1. The very first thing is to change the narrative around busyness. Eliminate phrases like, “I’m too busy.”  “I don’t have time.” “I’m not sure how I’m going to fit that in.” You will immediately feel less busy and you will appear more in control.
  2. If you are someone who finds it difficult to say no, which causes your crazy busyness to flourish and grow, practice the Power of No! To quote Steve Jobs “Deciding on what not to do is as important as deciding what to do.”  Check out our Blog ‘The Power of No’.
  3. Take control of your calendar; set boundaries around who can access your calendar, insist upon break time between meetings and follow-up time after meetings and block book priority time for “thinking” and planning. Honour these times.
  4. Stop equating busyness and a full calendar with successful business owners. Research successful business owners and you will discover they do not live the life of crazy busy. They know a calendar clogged from morning to night with busy stuff leaves no time for their team, their business or their customers. Warren Buffet is a great example of someone to research; he has 2 hours of thinking time every day.
  5. Are you really that busy? List the things you do each day. Study the list. Identify things you can stop doing; cross them out and stop doing them. Then look for tasks you can delegate to others. Give yourself 2 weeks to carry out the delegation. Here are some simple steps to delegation.

I’m not suggesting having a full life is a bad thing.  Nor am I suggesting we aim for idleness.  I am suggesting we need to stop making “I’m crazy busy” the entrepreneurs’ badge of honour.  We need to stop equating busyness with productivity.

Fact Is; being crazy busy all the time ruins our ability to focus.  It stops us from creating true value for our clients and for our business.  It definitely stops us from having fun. If we are that busy, something is broken, and we need to put strategies in place to change it.

Are you feeling crazy busy?

It could be because you are on The Fragmented Focus Treadmill. Watch this 3-minute video to find out.