The Busy-Ness Trap

Don’t Get Caught Up Being Busy

Have you noticed that we are busier than ever?  Despite the fact that over the past century or so, modern technology has created a TON of time saving devices (email, cell phones, washing machines, smart homes, to name a few).  But when you ask anyone they will tell you how busy they are.

The truth is, we have created a construct of being busy.  We feel like we are getting things accomplished when we’re busy (or if we don’t meet our goals it’s because we were too busy).  We have replaced productivity with being busy, and it can end up hurting business.

There’s an easy way out.

Follow the Two-Five Rule

Line up everything that you need to get done during the day, and label each one that can be done in two minutes or less, and five minutes or less.

Every two minute task, knock it out of the park.  There’s a good chance you won’t have more than 30 of these, so you can knock out all of your two minute tasks in less than an hour.

When they’re done, do the five minute tasks.  You likely won’t spend more than another hour on these.

When these small items are off your list, you will not only feel like you have accomplished a lot before 10am, but you will also have a much cleaner schedule.  Now you can dedicate the time needed to get the big projects done.

But what if you still don’t have enough time?

Eliminate, Delegate, Simplify

Before you start each task, ask yourself these questions.

“Can I eliminate this task?”  If the answer is, “Yes” then it is pretty easy to get it done, simply cross it off the list.  If the answer is, “No” then you have to ask the next question.

“Can I delegate this task?”  If the answer is, “Yes” then you must determine who you delegate that to.  Sometimes it means hiring someone outside of your office to focus on those tasks.  With the internet, it’s easy to find a virtual assistant that can work remotely and take care of those time sucking tasks that don’t require your level of expertise and skill.  If the answer is, “No” then you move to the next question.

“Can I simplify this task?”  If the answer is, “Yes” then you determine how it needs to be simplified.  Maybe that outline doesn’t need a professionally developed PowerPoint when quick hand written notes will do just as well.  Maybe you can do a video conference instead of driving across town.  If the answer is, “No” then it’s time to buckle down and get it done.

Be Productive; Don’t be Busy

In our modern culture, we have labeled having free time as being something bad.  The result is that we always feel like we should be doing something… even if it’s not productive.  Instead, do the productive tasks, and then enjoy the well earned time off.

NW Consulting Group offers business consulting to the entire Northwest Region.  From our offices in Columbia Falls, Montana, we help take your business to the next level.  From business process consulting to management consulting, your business can thrive with our help!  Get in touch to learn more.

Paul Tripp