Never Believe Anyone Who Says They Are Too Busy

Paul Taylor
Aug 23, 2017 · 2 min read

I’ve kept up a pretty good blogging schedule this year — usually every week or so.

I’ve had a gap for the past two weeks — I could blame being busy.

Busyness isn’t the problem though — it’s a lack of discipline.

I’ve been listening to some of the Oliver Burkeman shows (thanks Simon Penny). You’ll recognise the people complaining about the size of their inbox and all the meetings they have to go to.

I like not being busy and I’m proud of it.

I resist being busy at every opportunity.

Busyness for me — and telling people I’m busy — is a sign I’m being undisciplined and unproductive.

Worse still — busyness makes you lose self-awareness. Telling other people how busy and important you are means you start to believe it yourself.

Here’s what makes me busy:

Trying to multi-task (it just leaves lots of things unfinished)

Attending standing meetings (they just create actions rather than focus on being reductive)

Letting people schedule back to back appointments (which kills any time for you to breathe and think)

Sending lots of emails (you just get more emails back)

Letting people “pick your brain for 5 minutes” (It’s never ever five minutes)

Someone recently told me that they checked their colleagues diaries to “see how busy they were”.

The implication was clear — busyness was being directly equated with productivity.

The colleagues whose diaries were full , a sign that they say yes to everything, were lauded.

Those engaged in purposeful contemplation or those just getting stuff done were not.

Great companies only obsess over productivity – never busyness.

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