By Ricardo Andorinho
Assuming that we are complying with the eight hours of sleep that most doctors recommend, we have 16 hours a day to fill in with activities. From the 16 hours we have, eight of them have to be spent at work and, if we are lucky enough, we have eight remaining hours to juggle between our partner, our kids and other family members and friends.
Add value, not chores
It would definitely be easier to restrict the “busyness analysis” to our work functions only, but doesn’t the busyness standard affect all roles we play in life? Can we actually segregate our roles, or do we believe in the holistic and interdependent dimension of human existence?
Everyone must have felt overwhelmed or scared by the five or six roles which each of us needs to perform regularly. But, have you thought that busyness might be one of your biggest enemies? Don’t you believe that busyness kills business?
Busyness means paperwork with the appearance of work but which doesn’t add or deliver value, or in other words, it means urgent but non-important activities with which people fill their days.
So, if a business is being run by busyness standards, it means that the really “important activities” are left behind. Consequently, in the long run, busyness leads to the death of the business and the reasons behind such a fact might be one of the following: a lack of vision, mission, strategic goals or values or, simply a lack of good managers!
But if you want to run away from busyness and substitute it with really important activities, here are some tips:
1. Analyse your routines and write down the activities which you spend your time on;
2. Determine which activities are important and not important in relation to your goals or objectives;
3. Stick to the important activities, and stop wasting time with busyness and trivia or pleasant activities;
4. Among the important activities, start working on the urgent ones doing each one of them until they are done;
5. Set aside some weekly time to deal with the important but non-urgent activities such as self-development, relationship building and envisioning or planning the future;
6. Try to apply this framework to each and every role you play in life (parent, student, employer, employee, etc).
Most to least
There are definitely too many tasks or activities that we need to “tidy up” in each of our twenty-four hour periods. To stay away from busyness, we should be measuring and prioritizing each activity with reference to both its importance and its urgency.
We understand that sometimes it might be difficult to draw the line between urgency and importance, but don’t worry, with practice you should be able to put first things first using as a weighing scale your own vision, mission and goals! By that time, we believe you will start experiencing some quality-of-life results!