To Be Busy: It’s Become More Viral Than Covid

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‘Busy. Sooo Busy. I’m Just So Busy’.

You hear it everywhere and we say it to everyone. More viral than Covid and arguably more damaging. Making everyone else feel less important and that they should work harder. Causing burnout in its wake, as we all struggle to work harder, and be busier than everyone else. What we’re really saying is that we’re more important-er. Trying to out busy each other. It’s a little like punching ourselves in the face and then saying ‘I can punch myself in the face harder. Watch <Boof>’.

The problem with busyness is four-fold:

  • It perpetuates the belief that we need to be busy.
  • We associate busy with importance but they are two different concepts.
  • It’s easy to be busy. It’s harder to make a difference.
  • When we are stressed (busy), our IQ reduces.

Stop the Disease

Stop the Busyness Disease spreading with these 4 little doses:

  • 1. Recognise it. Your self-esteem does not need to be led by your importance. You are good at what you do. Know it. Accept it.
  • 2. Why are you on the payroll? Easy to ask, and hard to answer. The answer is not a long list of stuff. It is a few things that you do that make a real difference to the ultimate company bottom line. Identify them.
    Busy businessman with four arms for doing muliple things to keep busy
    Being busy is our excuse for almost everything these days


  • 3. Stop the 4-minute badger. Many people keep themselves busy by being in their inbox. With 121 emails being received each day, that’s one every 4-minutes. Imagine driving and a badger runs out in front of the car every 4 minutes. That’s how much your concentration is affected each time you receive an email notification. Turn those email notifications off, or at least restrict them to the VIPs.
  • 4. Be a leader. Working in a corporate business many years ago, my boss used to head home at 5pm. The rest of us worked most evenings until 6.30 pm. He used to say to me, ‘It’s a financial contract with the company. You get paid to do a job. Get it done in the time agreed’. He always frustrated me with those words. Only many years later did I get what he meant. He was talking about busyness. Was I really productive 12 hours per day? No. He was right. Git!

Covid has passed. Now, let’s get passed busyness.

This article was written by Darren A. Smith for The Grocer.

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