‘Busy’ is no longer an excuse

Covid-19 may have disrupted business life as we know it, but it also provides a chance to rethink the way you work. Time management specialist & consultant and best-selling author Kate Christie provides five steps to improve the way you work.

Is it just me or did the whole world suddenly start exercising at the beginning of lock-down?

Everyone is/was exercising regularly, and it’s not hard to guess why. Self-isolation is

challenging – there is only so much time you can spend inside your own four walls. But more so, in one fell swoop, isolation inexorably exorcised the ‘I’m too busy’ excuse.

Maybe you too were a member of the I’m too Busy Club? You know, that elite group of busy people with lots on their plate, lots of people wanting a piece of them, projects on the go, work and places they needed to be? Club memberships allowed you to feel busy, to look busy and to talk a lot about being busy.

Covid-19 has allowed us to hit the pause button on our busy lifestyles, and for that, it is a blessing. Because being busy is not a badge of honour. It is an illness – Scottish medical researchers have found that people are becoming increasingly forgetful as a result of modern hectic lifestyles and information overload and have labelled the condition “Busy Lifestyle Syndrome” (‘BLS’).

Now is absolutely the perfect time kick BLS in the butt once and for all by creating some new habits to take into the post covid-19 world.

Start with these five simple steps:

  1. Focus on the four costs: for every activity you perform, there are four potential time costs:
    • financial cost – your time is money
    • opportunity cost – there will always be something else you could have done with that time
    • emotional cost – how do/ will I feel about this use of time?
    • physical cost – did that activity (or lack of activity) make for pain?
  1. Select: identify which cost resonates with you most.
  1. Rank your activities: Write a list of everything that you ‘used’ to do that made for such a busy lifestyle. With your selected cost lens in mind (eg., opportunity cost – what else could I be doing with my time?), work through the list and rank each activity from 1 to 10 (1 being I really do not enjoy this, it’s not the best use of my time and 10 being I love this so much, I could not live without it!).
  2. Reject: For any activity that scores a 5 or less, it’s time to let this task go. It is not something you enjoy, it is making you too busy, and there are activities and people you would rather spend your time with.
  3. Prioritise: For activities that score a 6 or 7, schedule time into your calendar to do these activities occasionally. For those with an 8, 9, 10 – make lots of time for these!

Today, as you head out for your exercise, take the time to reflect on what is really most important to you. Do you really want to return to a constant state of busy’ness? Probably not.

It’s pretty simple – now we are coming out the other side of this thing, don’t renew your membership to the Busy Club, it’s not worth the price.