We know them both. Sometimes, we are them both. It’s easy to look busy. It’s tougher to be effective but it’s worth a shot.
The morning starts with a check of the cellular phone, after having slept through its alarm. Phew, the stress of cell phone life. Personal e-mail, work e-mail, Facebook updates, Twitter. That celebrity thing. Something else (sighs loudly). Yes, we’re fooled. The sigh tells us the level of stress, and it’s on to the next emergency.
We run around, racing the clock. Oops forgot this, whoops forgot that. Just too darn busy. Out the door, we rush, carrying way more things than we must. Of course, we slam it for dramatic effect. We think we must bring everything we carry but we mustn’t. We just don’t take the time to stop and think about what we carry. To look once in a while and see our carry bags are full of a lot of junk makes us chuckle. But if I carry it, I look busier.
We make it to our job where we are still just too busy. We gossip, get distracted with tasks unrelated to our jobs, and end up doing two hours worth of work in eight. All because we’re too busy. Then we rush home. Where we have too much to do. Mostly because we didn’t think ahead. But that would be too easy.
So goes the life of the busy. To look back and claim there’s no time, no energy. Where did my life go?
We cannot confuse the words busy and effective. Some people are afraid of being effective. They might not look as busy. Then what will people think? The truth of the matter is that you cannot argue with results. In fact, if a person never looks busy but manages to get so much done, all the power to them.
We’ve seen it at work and at home. That person who seems so busy, but what have they to show?
Instead of busy, be effective.
What’s the most important thing you should do first? Do it. What is the thing you should cut out of life? Cut it. Taking one minute to think something through can make a day easier.
Sure, I used to carry a backpack with me everywhere I went. And then I thought about how I can do without everything that was in it, or find a location where it’d be more useful. Instead of moving the same thing back and forth, I thought it through. “Don’t need it. Can leave it here. Toss it.”
The busy will stay busy, tired, and stressed. You will stay effective, energized, and ready to tackle the next big thing. Be effective, not busy.