1. Welcome! Please take a few seconds to create your free account to post threads, make some friends, remove a few ads while surfing and much more. ClutchFans has been bringing fans together to talk Houston Sports since 1996. Join us!

Please Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are

Discussion in 'BBS Hangout' started by bigtexxx, Oct 12, 2013.

  1. bigtexxx

    bigtexxx Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2002
    Messages:
    26,925
    Likes Received:
    2,265
    As I've progressed in my career, I've learned this lesson.

    http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/09/please-stop-complaining-about/
    Please Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are
    by Meredith Fineman | 8:00 AM September 2, 2013
    Comments (290)


    We’re all just so “busy” these days. “Slammed” in fact. “Buried.” Desperately “trying to keep our heads above water.” While these common responses to “How are you?” seem like they’re lifted from the Worst Case Scenario Handbook, there seems to be a constant exchange, even a a one-upping, of just how much we have on our plates when we communicate about our work.

    My favorite “busy” humble-brag was that of a potential client who apologized for lack of communication due to a “week-long fire drill.” What does that even mean? Does this mean there were fake fires, but not real ones, all week? Does calling it a “drill” mean that everything is okay? Is your business in flames? Should I call someone?

    Then there was the date I had with a fellow who was so busy “crashing on deadlines” that he asked me to “just make a reservation somewhere” for him. I was floored.

    So much of this is about out-doing each other. To say that “I’m busier than you are” means I’m more important, or that my time is more valuable, or that I am “winning” at some never-finished rat race to Inbox Zero. (Inbox Zero is another absurd contest to tackle at another time.) What you’re trying to say with these responses is: I’m busier, more in-demand, more successful.

    Here’s the thing: it’s harming how we communicate, connect, and interact. Everyone is busy, in different sorts of ways. Maybe you have lots of clients, or are starting a new business, or are taking care of a newborn. The point is this: with limited time and unlimited demands on that time, it’s easy to fill your plate with activities constantly. But this doesn’t mean that you should.

    To assume that being “busy” (at this point it has totally lost its meaning) is cool, or brag-worthy, or tweetable, is ridiculous. By lobbing these brags, endlessly puffing our shoulders about how “up to my neck” we are, we’re missing out on important connections with family and friends, as well as personal time. In addition to having entire conversations about how busy we are, we fail to share feelings with friends and family, ask about important matters, and realize that the “busy” is something that can be put on hold for a little while.

    I am not trying to belittle anyone’s work-load in the slightest. But in using it as a one-upping mechanism, we’re failing to connect in a very substantial way. And we’re making the problem worse: When everyone around us is “slammed,” it’s easy to feel guilty if we’re not slaving away on a never-ending treadmill of toil. By trying to compete about it, we’re only adding to that pool of water everyone seems to be constantly “treading” in. And all this complaining is having serious effects on our mental health.

    And yet we continue to use long hours as a sort of macho badge of honor.

    We need to work smart, not (just) hard.

    Just because you clocked 15 hours at your office, with likely dry eyeballs and a complete lack of focus, doesn’t mean you’ve accomplished things in a smart way. Many people have written or spoken about this. Typically, you have 90-120 minutes before you devolve into internet fodder or social media. If you’re putting in 15 straight hours at your desk, without breaks, how good is your output? How much time are you wasting?

    The distinction between working hard versus smart has hit me as an entrepreneur. In high school and college I was always that girl who read all the assigned reading (and no, I was not giving you my study guide). I created outlines, outlines of outlines, and then flashcards. One of my greatest lessons as a businessperson has been to throw out that skill set. This isn’t to say you shouldn’t be diligent or that you should half-heartedly execute, but rather, that it’s crucial to know what you have to do as opposed to everything you could do. It’s about being strategic.

    For once, I’d like to hear someone brag about their excellent time management skills, rather than complain about how much they can’t get done. Maybe we could learn something from each other.

    In fact, I’ll start — here are three tactics I’ve been using to work smarter:

    Constrain the time. The more I constrain my time, the more focused and productive I feel, and the less I waste time on low-priority work. If you can only afford to spend 45 minutes on a certain project, then only spend 45 minutes on it — and move on, even if it isn’t perfect.

    Use a scheduler. If you’re really up to your neck, it’s very easy to find a scheduler, virtual or otherwise, to help put things on your calendar. Sometimes it’s a matter of freeing up that time used for coordinating plans to actually doing them. Zirtual is a great answer to this. As is the DIY scheduler Doodle.

    Cut the fat. Once I cut out superfluous meetings that were not: fun, productive, leading to new business, or really had something wonderful in it for me professional or otherwise, that plate emptied a little bit. (Here’s a tool for figuring out what to cut.)

    Yes, we all have some strange need to out-misery each other. Acknowledging that is a first step. But next time you speak to a friend and want to lament about how busy you are, ask yourself why. Try steering the conversation away from a complain-off. With some practice you might find yourself actually feeling less “buried” (or at least feeling less of a need to say it all the time).

    And maybe that’s something worth bragging about.
     
  2. The Real Shady

    The Real Shady Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Jun 8, 2000
    Messages:
    17,170
    Likes Received:
    3,966
    Unless you come up with a better way to get out of dates with someone you don't like I'm going to keep using, "I've been real busy lately."
     
  3. Nice Rollin

    Nice Rollin Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2006
    Messages:
    11,856
    Likes Received:
    321
    Too busy to read
     
  4. Xerobull

    Xerobull You son of a b!tch! I'm in!

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2003
    Messages:
    33,345
    Likes Received:
    30,889
  5. Haymitch

    Haymitch Custom Title
    Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2005
    Messages:
    27,970
    Likes Received:
    23,146
    Too busy; didn't read.
     
  6. GanjaRocket

    GanjaRocket Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    106
    Being busy isn't something to have dick measuring prideful feelings about
     
  7. GanjaRocket

    GanjaRocket Member

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2012
    Messages:
    3,557
    Likes Received:
    106
    Basically do your work well in a way that makes it easy as possible on yourself then proceed to STFU about it
     
  8. krosfyah

    krosfyah Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Aug 7, 2001
    Messages:
    7,435
    Likes Received:
    1,095
    What I find is that the older I get, I keep getting busier ...which I didn't think was possible when I was younger. When I was younger, I was convinced I had reached the maximum level of busy.

    So as this article illustrates, we always feel as though we are busy. But it's relative. So there is no value in bringing it up, I guess.
     
  9. Jontro

    Jontro Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    34,366
    Likes Received:
    22,108
    Yes, exactly. I thought everyone knew that "busy" means I didn't want to talk to you.
     
  10. BE4RD

    BE4RD Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    50
    When someone tells me they're busy, I generally assume it means they have poor time management skills, not that they're important.
     
  11. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Messages:
    36,761
    Likes Received:
    13,148
    I always tell vendors I'm busy. I don't want to talk to them. Don't want to be entertained. Essentially, yes, my time is more important than they are to me. So yes, validated. Protecting your time is important. The article suggests you're belittling people, sending a message that your time is more important than theirs. That's true. My time is more important than someone elses time is to me, go figure.

    So yeah, if I'm too busy for you I'm letting you know I don't care about you all that much. Get over it.
     
  12. Nook

    Nook Member

    Joined:
    Jun 27, 2008
    Messages:
    54,102
    Likes Received:
    112,514
    Meh I was busy when I first passed the bar and was trying 2 cases a month. As time has gone on, I have learned to work smarter and not harder. I could probably have the firm grow faster by hustling but time with my family and for charitable work, leisure time etc is more important. A lot of time prioritizing tasks and delegating is huge. Micro managing is a big mistake. Surround yourself with smart, trustworthy people and pay them well and you usually can stress less.

    However, obviously this doesn't work for most Americans, if you work at McDonalds or are a laborer there isn't much you can do except bust your ass until your body breaks down, live off social security and die is debt.

    Funny thing is the wealthy or those on the cusp of wealth often fail to see the bigger picture and work 65 hours a week so they can drive a Mercedez Benz instead of an Audi while their latch key teenage children are getting stuffed by some gang banger or failing out of the JUCO with a meth habit.
     
  13. across110thstreet

    across110thstreet Contributing Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2001
    Messages:
    12,720
    Likes Received:
    1,388
    essentially there are saying "I'm too busy for you"

    or

    "I'm busier than you are"
     
  14. xAliceInChains

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    810
    Likes Received:
    29
    What if one was in fact too busy.


    Mind Blown
     
  15. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Messages:
    36,761
    Likes Received:
    13,148
    Really it just comes down to your time being more important that someone elses time.
     
  16. BE4RD

    BE4RD Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    50
    I got tired of telling vendors I was "busy" and having them think that means "I would like to talk to you, but I have no free time", when instead I really meant "I am not interested in talking to you, even if I had free time". So instead, I told them I was not interested. Got a lot of butthurt responses, but now I don't have to bother with them bugging me anymore. :)
     
  17. DwangBoy

    DwangBoy Member

    Joined:
    May 6, 2003
    Messages:
    2,136
    Likes Received:
    272
    I associate busy with inability to deal with the amount of stress at a given moment... Hate the word cause it's meaningless... Should replace with overwhelmed..
     
  18. Ziggy

    Ziggy QUEEN ANON

    Joined:
    Jun 11, 1999
    Messages:
    36,761
    Likes Received:
    13,148
    It's usually engaged vendors and/or people in my life, not cold calls. I don't answer or respond to cold anything. The fact is, I used to have more time to do things for fun. Play guitar, read, learn new things... now I have less time for that. If I have less time for the things I enjoy, I sure as hell wont make time to appease someone else I don't care about.
     
  19. BE4RD

    BE4RD Member

    Joined:
    Mar 24, 2013
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    50
    Not talking about cold callers. If i'm not interested in the wine-dine crap, I tell them. Don't call me, I'll call you.
     

Share This Page

  • About ClutchFans

    Since 1996, ClutchFans has been loud and proud covering the Houston Rockets, helping set an industry standard for team fan sites. The forums have been a home for Houston sports fans as well as basketball fanatics around the globe.

  • Support ClutchFans!

    If you find that ClutchFans is a valuable resource for you, please consider becoming a Supporting Member. Supporting Members can upload photos and attachments directly to their posts, customize their user title and more. Gold Supporters see zero ads!


    Upgrade Now