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Tell Me Again How Busy You Are

Updated: Nov 20, 2019


Does it seem like all you hear is how crazy everyone’s day is, how busy they are, how they don’t have time (i.e. excuses)? Gross! We get it, you are important. What I see however is someone who is unable to actually manage their time well and has a skewed perspective. That’s right, I see right through all of that “craziness.” I get it, life is busy, and it feels like a continuous balancing act between all of the things…the emails, meetings, appointments, home projects, kids….ahhhh!


The reality is, however, that it is all manageable, and things aren’t that busy. Rather, how you are looking at your “plate” and how you are managing these items is what is making it seem that way! When you combine all of these things into one, it becomes one big, combined, unmanageable mess. As a result, you are left feeling overwhelmed and responding to your colleague’s question “how is your day?” with “crazy” or to a follow-up request to an unanswered email with “sorry, I’m underwater over here.” Nobody wants to hear that. First off, you sound silly and incapable and second, you sound as if you don’t value the time of others. “I’m busy” comes off a bit more like “I’m too busy for you.” The “I’m busy” is more for you and makes YOU feel more important. Studies show that business is some sought after status that somehow relates to competence and ambition. Let’s be honest though, busy doesn’t equal success. I digress.


Soooo, we need to solve for a few things here…


First, separate all of the things that make up your crazy, too busy, overwhelming mess of things, into manageable pieces. I will never forget when I first utilized this approach. I was that person that answered the “how is your day” question with “crazy!” I hate to admit that because I now understand how silly I sounded, but I am forced to share with you so that perhaps you start to look at things a little differently.

Instead of looking at your day like this…”I have a million meetings today, my morning was crazy, and I woke up late, I have so many unread emails, my employee is under-producing, my under-producing employee is impacting the rest of the team and I have to leave early for an appointment,” which certainly sounds like a full and perhaps “crazy day,” let’s take a different approach:


  • “I have a million meetings today.” Yep, some days are filled with more meetings than others. Acknowledge and move on.

  • “My morning was crazy, and I woke up late.” Bummer, but completely irrelevant now.

  • “I have so many unread emails.” Do you have time dedicated to respond to your emails accordingly? If so, don’t worry about your emails until it is time to do so. See, (Inbox 22,533)

  • “My employee is under-producing.” Dedicate time to determining the actions required to address.

  • “My under-producing employee is impacting the rest of the team.” You can solve for this one by solving for your under-producing employee so until you do that, take this one out of the equation.

  • “I have to leave early for an appointment.” This one shortens your workday a bit but is also irrelevant.


Based on all of that, you are left with a normal workday filled with emails, meetings and an employee performance issue that you need to be addressed, which doesn’t sound all that crazy to me. It’s all about perspective and proper management.

And second, try replacing your typical response of “so busy,” with something a bit more original. You aren’t impressing anyone. Rather, you are damaging your reputation and being disrespectful.


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