24 Sep 2014 | News

The 7 Deadly Sins of Being Busy

If you ask someone how their day was, one of the most common replies you will receive is “It was busy.” Everyone is busy; busy with work, with their kids, or just life in general. However there are some kinds of busy that actually don’t help you achieve very much at all. Being “busy” doesn’t always equate to being productive. Emma Gray has identified seven of the bad kinds of busy that we can strive to avoid.

1. ‘Badge of honour’ Busy

You believe that being busy equals being significant. Keeping your schedule jam-packed makes you as important as everyone else – it’s how you create your worth.

2. ‘Nobody does this as well as I do’ Busy

You’d like to cut things out of your schedule, but you’d probably end up doing them anyway, because nobody else does things ‘properly’. You believe you’re the only one who can complete everything to your exacting standards. One of your most-used phrases is ‘Here – let me do it!’

3. ‘Running away’ Busy

There is something big that you really should attend to: something tricky in your work or personal life that you’ve been avoiding. Instead of tackling what should be first on your list, you fill your diary with less necessary tasks so that you ‘don’t have time’ to face the important stuff.

4. ‘Comfort zone’ Busy

You want to launch something ultra exciting in your business – but it’s a big step and you’re scared. What if it doesn’t work out? Staying busy keeps you in your comfort zone and protects you from taking risks. The busier you are, the longer you’re ‘off the hook’ and safe from potential failure.

5. ‘People pleaser’ Busy

You have a need to be liked. ‘Yes’ comes out of your mouth before you even consider an alternative response. What if you say ‘no’ and they don’t like you as much? What if there’s conflict? It’s easier and safer just to take the request on and say yes, you’ll do it, even if you’re exhausted.

 6. ‘Flapping’ Busy

You’re disorganised. You spend a huge amount of time looking for things that you’ve misplaced. You’re regularly late for appointments. You leave everything till the last minute. The first thing you do when you’re overwhelmed is write a Facebook status about it. Your lack of organisation creates chaos and manufactures extra work. It takes you much longer to accomplish things than it could, because you’re focused almost entirely on flapping.

7.  ‘Scared to ask’ Busy

You feel like a fraud. You’re not sure you understand what you’re really doing. Rather than seek clarification from a mentor or friend, you go to enormous lengths to try to work it out yourself. You’re scared of asking ‘silly questions’ and choose to complicate your life in an effort to avoid these. You’ll send emails rather than call, then waste time waiting for a response.


I know that I have been guilty of quite a few of the above kinds of busy, if not all. So I thought I would share with you all my favourite time management technique. The 50:10 rule;

For any task, assignment, or project that you need to finish yourself, set a timer on your phone for 50 minutes and then cut off yourself from rest of the world. No phones, emails, visitors or any other distraction. Free yourself from everything else and immerse into your task. When the timer beeps up, stop right there whether your task is completed or not. For the next 10 minutes do something casual; take a cup of coffee, go for a natural break or chat briefly with a colleague. You may repeat the drill to complete the same assignment or start a new one. You would be surprised how much you can get done in 50 minutes with a clean focus.

The information contained on this website has been provided as general advice only. The contents have been prepared without taking account of your personal objectives, financial situation or needs. You should, before you make any decision regarding any information, strategies or products mentioned on this website, consult your own financial adviser to consider whether that is appropriate having regard to your own objectives, financial situation and needs.

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