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Im Too Busy - Oh Really!


If I had a dollar or even better a pound for every time I'd heard a business leader say this I'd be very rich.

I'm too busy is used in so many contexts

* I'm too busy - I don't want to
* I'm too busy - I'm overwhelmed
* I'm too busy - Go Away
* I'm too busy - I'm confused
* I'm too busy - And you're not!

If we break that sentence down and look at each part, we can then look at ways of helping you be less busy.

I'M too busy - with the emphasis on the I, the inference is that the centre of the busyness is you. The implication is that you need to be because you are the only person that can do all of the work that is causing you to feel busy.

I'm TOO busy - with the emphasis on the TOO, the inference is that your busyness level is more than you can cope with. It implies that you have to cope with more work than is comfortable for you.

I'm too BUSY - with the emphasis on the BUSY, the inference is that you have lots to do but that it might not be useful or productive work or work that you feel you should be doing.

So let's assume that's the case and the work you currently have that is causing you to be too busy, is largely made up of work you feel you shouldn't be doing, i.e. it is work that is not specifically contributing to your goals and targets.

So what's the answer?

Here is a process for you to try to Get Creative, Get Focused and Get Control

1. List all of the tasks, activities or pieces of work you currently have "to do"

2. Give each task a priority 1-5 (1 being high 5 being low) based on their relevance to your specific goals or targets

3. Give each ask a MUST, SHOULD COULD rating

a. Must - you are accountable and responsible for its completion
b. Should - You are accountable but not necessarily responsible i.e. you must make it happen but someone else could do it
c. Could - You are neither accountable or responsible

4. For each must

a. set a deadline for completion and schedule it in you diary/PDA now

5. For each should

a. make a list of who else could do it and why it might be more appropriate for them to do it
b. prioritise this list

6. For each could

a. decide to do it and schedule it
b. delegate it and schedule time to hand the work over
c. discard it completely

"The key is not to prioritise what's on your schedule, but to schedule your priorities" Stephen R. Covey

Just because you assume you're too busy doesn't mean that you are.

You have a choice not to do something and you can choose to make different decisions about what work you do and what work you don't. If you work for someone else help them to help you by having regular discussions about you workload and what work is a Must, Should and Could for you - don't just accept everything that comes your way.

Take control and get creative about how you think about and how you manage your workload. Your level of busyness is down to you.

2005 Beverley Hamilton

About The Author
Beverley Hamilton is the author of Take Control of Your Time: 7 Straight Shooter Strategies for Success. To learn more, subscribe to Quickstart her free ezine and get more tips, tools and articles visit at One Step Further

NOTE: You're welcome to reprint this article online as long as it remains complete and unaltered including the "about the author" information at the end.


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