The PMA Blog

The Price of Busy-ness

Posted by Dorinda Beck on 9/3/15 1:00 PM


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Years of trying to work with Industrial Age time management systems and tools has set us up to fail.  The Information Age brought with it a pace and volume of both communications and information that would overload any linear system.  So we did what we knew how to do.  

We Worked Longer.  We Worked Harder.  ( We Lost the Will to Live.) 

  • We schedule days so packed with meetings, calls, emails and texts, that 85% of our day is “spent” before we even get to our workplace. 

  • We start the day knowing that we'll get only about an hour to make any kind of progress on our non-urgent but important work items, and if there's any kind of crisis or emergency, we can kiss that goodbye!

  • We practically sleep with our smartphones in hand. 

  • We work longer and faster and fill in every open moment by checking email.

  • In the US, we give up vacations in the fear that the workload will finally overwhelm us if we take time off.             

  • We set aside and procrastinate anything that might be a time-suck, like relationship building, creativity, process improvement and project work.Stress-Mother-Running-Late-Wit-49227587-300x243

  • We forfeit being truly present, by multi-tasking our way through every meeting and conference call.

                     Download the Five Keys to a Productive Day presentation                                                                                                                                       

Unfortunately, our personal  and family lives are much the same.  I recently watched the documentary"Race to Nowhere", which documents the dilemma of our US educational system which is designed to help kids pass tests and get into the top colleges.  Parents race from sporting events to art classes, spend evening hours helping get their kids through mountains of homework and wondering the whole time if this was even remotely healthy for anyone.

The result is a life of complete busy-ness, both at work and at home.  Tony Crabbe, in his book "Busy", speaks to the issue when he says, "Busy is a terrible brand."  Yet, it's the most common response heard in elevators everywhere.  Not just busy, either.  We're "crazy busy"! 
crazy-busy-996960-editedFor many of us, our self-worth is tied to our level of busy-ness and a day without busy can cause an uneasiness and guilt, instead of a sense of relaxation. 
 
The answer to this new brand of busy-ness is not simple.  It will require us to develop better processbetter tools and a willingness to let go of a brand that feels comfortable and familiar.  We'll need to consider more of a"systems approach" to work and we'll need to start saying "no" or at least "not now" to the many things that don't fit and don't add value to a more priority driven day.  And even when that's all done, we will feel the nag of our addiction.  We will feel guilty for sitting or thinking or playing or deepening a relationship.  The struggle is real.  Keep fighting!


 

Topics: Productivity for All

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