Busy, Busy, Busy

Author: Susan Labentsoff, Director, Marketing & Communications, Meeting, Event and Conference Services (MECS) & Ancillary Services, Simon Fraser University

I read an interesting article the other day that was posted on LinkedIn and was published by the Harvard Business Review.  The article was entitled “Please Stop Complaining about How Busy You Are” by Meredith Fineman.

It got me thinking about what being ‘busy’ really means. It seems nowadays whenever you ask someone how they are, one of the most common responses is “Busy!”  Are we really that much busier than we were before?  Are there more expectations?  Are we forced to do more with less?  I don’t know the answers to those questions, but I do know that it seems that we’re all on this treadmill of being so busy – and to what end?

I’ve always had the philosophy that if you’re too busy on a regular basis, either your workload is unbalanced or your time management skills need some work.  Sure, we all have times in our work life that are busier that others – different seasons, budget time, special projects, etc. but overall if you find yourself working long hours and never seeming to get caught up, there is something out of whack.

 I recently hear a commercial on the radio for a bank promoting being “good busy” not just busy and it struck me as something we should really take a closer look at.  What does “good busy” mean?  To me it means prioritizing tasks and responsibilities, doing the important things first and not getting caught up in things that don’t matter.  Probably easier said than done, but I think the first step is to at least acknowledge there is a difference between being busy and being good busy. 

In my role at SFU Meeting, Events and Conferences my main responsibility is to generate revenue for the organization.  To be good busy, everything I do should be related to that end goal.  Everything the sales managers do should be related to that goal.  What is your main responsibility? What is your goal?  Is everything you do related to achieving that goal?  If not, perhaps you have to ask yourself, am what I’m doing right now going to help me in realizing what I’m meant to do?

I’m not saying this is easy, especially when it seems like we’ve been programmed to be so busy all the time.  But give it try, you might surprise yourself on how much time you spend on things that just aren’t good busy!

Susan Labentsoff, Director, Marketing & Communications, Meeting, Event and Conference Services (MECS) & Ancillary Services, Simon Fraser University
Telephone: 778-782-7903
Email: slabentsoff@sfu.ca

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