Why am I always busy

I'm busy: why the sentence hurts you

There is always a task that cannot be delayed. Disruptions? Undesirable! So the colleague who is calling or coming to the desk is snapped at: I'm busy! Not now! No time!" (or something more reproachful: "Can't you see that I'm busy?"). No question about it, sometimes you have to courageously protect your flow and put notorious troublemakers in their place. But like every medal, this one also has a downside: It can also hurt you to be busy all the time ...

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

➠ Content: This is what awaits you

“I'm busy”: but are you also productive?

Some working days can - admittedly - be really exhausting: One task follows the next. More are added every hour. Then there are colleagues who ask for help or the customer who once again has extra requests ... In short: They are from morning to night employed.

But does that also mean you're productive?

The sobering answer: No. Having something to do does not automatically mean that it is effective or efficient and that it advances your work.

So there are a few classic ones Time wasters and productivity killers who make us believe that we are doing a lot when we are actually doing nothing. For example…

  • Emails

    Hand on heart: how many emails do you receive per day? For example, suppose it only takes five minutes to process each email. Then with 30 e-mails that's already two and a half hours of the working day that are only used by e-mails. Without even going through a single point on your to-do list.

  • perfectionism

    The presentation is corrected a seventh time. Potential problems anticipated for the eighth time ... Let's be honest: care is a fine thing. But perfectionism can also hold back. In some cases it only costs time without generating additional benefits (see: Pareto principle).

  • Meetings

    You're probably the worst time thief in any job. You sit together for around 30, 60 or even 90 minutes, exchange ideas, discuss - and in the end you are just as smart as before. Let's put it as it is: Most of the meetings are poorly prepared, the participants wrongly chosen and in the end only what the boss says is done anyway. Pure waste of time.

As you can see, you can be busy - and still do nothing or achieve anything. And it is precisely in this ambiguity that the problem of the statement lies: "I'm busy." You can also keep yourself busy with pictures and memes on Facebook, Instagram or Pinterest. But that is work in very few cases.

Why it hurts to be busy all the time

Being busy doesn't necessarily mean being productive. What's more, even if it often seems like a good sign to always be busy - it often means the exact thing opposite.

It might make a busy and important impression if you say at every opportunity that you unfortunately have something important (professional) to do at the moment. Used too often, but you are only harming yourself with the statement.

Six reasons why the sentence "I'm busy" Harms you in the long run:

  1. You are overwhelmed.

    Keeping busy doesn't mean you have to work through. In fact, the subtext shows that you are constantly under stress and obviously overwhelmed. Those who are always busy lack the time to relax. And that not only harms your own health, but also your reputation. Confident top performers do their job - not the other way around. So whoever is always busy comes out as a victim of his work.

  2. You don't set priorities.

    Our priorities tell us what to deal with first and what things can still wait. Those who are permanently employed clearly no longer set priorities (which incidentally also include regular breaks), but let others or circumstances determine the day (or rather prioritize). In the extreme, this can mean that the really important tasks are done too late or not at all. So better take the reins again - and treat yourself to some time out.

  3. You're missing out on opportunities.

    You can encounter opportunities anywhere, anytime. While working on a project. In the lunch break. Or talking to a colleague. If you are too busy yourself, you run the risk of missing out on the opportunities available to you. Result: You lapse into tunnel vision and do not perceive anything outside of your workload. Rather, open your perception in order to recognize opportunities again and not have to worry later about what you could have achieved if you had only been more attentive.

  4. You lose sight of your goals.

    In addition to all the tasks that you devote yourself to every day, there is hardly any time left to worry about your own goals. If you stop working on your goals, you will only step on the spot. Permanent employment does not ultimately lead to progress, but to its opposite. Therefore - despite the daily tasks - keep an eye on your long-term plans and consciously take the time to work on their implementation. This is the only way to develop yourself further.

  5. They make excuses for problems.

    Those who are busy have neither the time nor the inclination to take care of others or their questions or problems. "I'm busy" can also be a made-up excuse for: "I'll take care of it later." "That's not so important to me." Or: "You are not important to me right now." However, repressed problems or conflicts rarely go away. Rather, they're just leaving to get reinforcements. Use the sentence "I'm busy" so please do not use it as a lazy excuse to banish obstacles (for the time being!). In that case, it may be better to pause your work and solve the problem.

  6. You neglect relationships.

    Of course, colleagues or friends can take a rebuff from time to time - especially if they are justified. But they are not a social buffer either. This, too, is ultimately a question of the (correct) priorities: It is not uncommon for such social distractions to help us come up with new ideas or to find a better solution in dialogue because we can no longer see the forest for the trees. So don't be too busy with the unexpected helpers. Nobody will be happy with one every time "I'm busy" cleared - neither do you. And you know: two beers always work!

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[Photo credit: vchal by Shutterstock.com]
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17th October 2020Author: Jochen Mai

Jochen Mai is the founder and editor-in-chief of the career bible. The author of several books lectures at the TH Köln and is a sought-after keynote speaker, coach and consultant.

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