Have you ever noticed that many people in our society judge themselves and others based on how busy they are? Since completing the move, I have not been busy. Yes, I try to keep active or I get bored. I organize my life and my projects.
My reality is that I have about 24 hours a day to do anything I want. But doesn’t everyone?
A year ago, I was in a wonderful program for women in leadership called Women’s Unlimited. I was sponsored by Adobe where I was working. All the women in the class were senior managers or higher from many industries. Many were working moms. We did an exercise where we each took a generalized 24 hour period, drew a circle and allocated time blocks in cartoons to define how we spent our time. Here is my picture:
- I had control of almost 100% of my time. Yes, I had a lot of meetings and commitments but the world would not end if I had to change anything for any reason. I would not be fired from my job if I didn’t show up. I worked 12 hours a day because I chose to but this exercise made me realize that choice came at a cost.
- Spending an extra hour at work, took away precious time spent in other areas. This was really striking to many of the working moms. For me I had defined 1 hour of “My time” for exercise/gardening…taking care of body and soul. If you think that you allocate 1 hour to “My time” you spend an extra 30 minutes working, you have just reduced “My time” by 50% while only increasing “Work time” by 6%. Is that really the priorities you value?
- We are all plagued by time traps:
- We can all manage our time better or delegate better. There are hundreds of ways and most are applicable to everyone.
We are each given 24 hours a day to use how we see fit. It is part of the gift of life. Many people speculate on what they would do if they knew they would die in x days. Guess what? I know I will die in x days. We all do; we just don’t know if x is 2 or 20,000. The only thing that any of us “MUST” do in life is die.
Do “busy” people get more accomplished? From my perspective this is absolutely not true. I’ve spent many years being very busy so it is personal.
- When I am busy, I lose track of my values and priorities. I don’t stop and enjoy the world around me.
- When I am busy, I put myself last; I will survive anything that can happen and one more day of no exercise, bad eating and lack of sleep will not kill me.
- When I am busy, I don’t stop to think or reflect on all my busy-ness. I don’t even think about how I could be more efficient (or how inefficient I really am).
Try thinking that BUSY is a little devil on your shoulder. If you can keep him as a little devil, you can can lead a happy and productive life. But if you start having him take you over, he’ll grow and eventually kill you. When he starts getting heavy or noisy just say no; stay home; meditate; read a book; call a friend; keep your perspective!