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How busy are you?

How busy are you?

Recently I read an article about time management, and how often we both say and hear “Sorry I didn’t get back to you, I’ve just been so busy”. The word ‘busy’ is subjective most would say, but when someone can’t return a text message to you on time; or when you’re a few days late responding to that email….it raises the question: how busy…. is busy?

To put a spin on this, what if a busy person – too busy to return calls – was told they’d get $50 to return every call that day? It may not make a difference. What if it were $500? It probably would. How about $50,000? “Clear my schedule, I have calls to make” ...!

The truth is we make choices with our time, and prioritise as we see fit. There’s nothing wrong with that at all, everyone has different priorities in life. However, are these priorities making you busy without being productive?

Parkinson’s Law is based on one principle: “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion". We’ve all seen it first-hand I’m sure. Perhaps we experience it ourselves. How easy it can be to feel you’ve been flat out all day then realise you haven’t done as much as you thought?

If you find yourself falling into the Parkinson’s Law trap, or know someone that does, this tip may help: consider using the first 30 minutes of your week to plan the rest of the week. What better use of 30 minutes can you find than to best plan your week ahead? Deadlines get things done, so setting your own self-imposed deadlines on some of the more menial tasks in your week will get them accomplished quicker.

We all have our way of operating in life, be it a business, a job or a household. We all have our self-appointed tips to help us. Perhaps share these with others next time and see what ideas other have too. Time is a resource you can’t get back, so make the most of it! Better to be productive, than busy.