Say it with me. “I’m NOT Busy”.
Not busy? Ha! It’s difficult, right? Because I know you ARE busy. Everyone is. But, it seems to me lately that everyone wants a piece of my time. And, I loathe the phrase, “I’m too busy”. Especially when I’m working with someone and their work is shoved on to me. The other day, I volunteered to help make calls to advertise for a local event coming up soon. The lady with the call list emailed me the lists of all past participants from last year and the year before. That’s well over 150 names. I called her and asked her if she would be making any calls. She said, “No, I’m just way too busy”. Pause….I took a deep breath, looked at my calendar and cringed. I was busy, too. How was I going to get all of these calls made, plus finish all of my work already on my to-do list? I paused again and took a deep breath. My feeling then, was anger. There are six ladies on this committee. Why did I have to do this entire tedious and time consuming task all by myself and waste my entire day? I took one more deep breath and wished SHE would have been thinking of my schedule. I wished SHE would have asked ME if I had time to call the whole entire two lists of people. I wished SHE would have put herself in my shoes. In my head, I thought of three possible ways that everyone on my committee would have been “not busy” enough to make phone calls or contacts.
1. Remember that EVERYONE is busy.
Appreciate everyone’s schedule. Ask them if there would be something they could do to help you. If they are part of the committee or group, there must be a reason they have chosen to dedicate time to joining. Maybe they are actually hesitant to be involved. Think about how the words, “I’m too busy,” would affect them if they asked you for help with a task. It really offended me to hear she couldn’t help me because she was too busy. I’m wondering if there is a different, less offensive way to say it. One thing you can say is something like, “I have this time, this time, or this time available for an hour each”. Actually give the time allotments you have open for completing the task.
2. Share tedious tasks, such as call lists.
It took the whole day to call 100 people. When I would actually connect with someone, they would want to talk for a while, which was great! I enjoy talking to people on the phone, especially when it’s about a topic I’m passionate about. The list was just very long. In your group, select the most tedious tasks and split them up into different parts. Let everyone pick who they want to call or let them choose what part of the project they would like to complete. When you outsource tasks, any project can become a better quality project. I did finish the phone calls. Luckily, I have a bubbly friend who is also passionate about our program and she called some of the people on my list. I wrote a script so I could just read what I wanted to say. This helped me to multitask while making calls.
3. Prioritize Tasks to Fit Your Whole Team’s Busy Schedule
My committee began planning this particular event in February, so we would have had plenty of time to plan out tedious tasks such as calling and advertising. We could have all blocked out one or two hours this week or the week before to be sure we had some time open to calling. The main thing to remember when being “not busy” is to help one another. Everyone is busy, so help each other. Make the time you need to complete your share of the project or program. I’ve given a work or volunteer example, but this can also be applied to your family setting and time spent with your spouse, partner and/or kids. Even those pets need some of your time! Keep this in mind. An hour is only 4% of your day. Can you sacrifice 4% of your entire day for some playtime with the kids or a tedious task from a fellow committee member? You DO have the time. It just gets away from you and then it’s lost. You can make better use of your time and be not busy. I’m going to work on not telling people I’m too busy. Here are three ways I will practice being not busy.
1. Plan and Make Lists
Seriously, this works great! I have my day planner and I use it religiously. I also have a big pad of lined notebook pages where I map out the day with a list of tasks. I have been trying to make a list for the week on Sunday nights, but IF this list does not get accomplished, I complete a list for the day first thing in the morning. This really helps me know what needs to be completed and what really doesn’t.
If we as human beings did not communicate, we would all just be walking zombies. Alone and dead. In the dark. Relationships and communications keep us alive and motivated! And on target! In my own marriage, both of us are busy people with busy schedules. We communicate several times per day by phone, email, text, and face to face. Communicating keeps us on track and allows for us to make sure things get done and we have more free time to spend with our farm and our daughter.
I use my iPhone 6 alarm clock and timer app to keep track of the time I spend on task. Incorporating a list of timed tasks along with support from your partner, spouse, bestie, etc., is the key to success. Social media and technology allows us to be so much more efficient with our tasks. Efficiency allows for more time to spend on ourselves and with our loved ones, which is one things we all want. You are not busy. You are living your life and you have more than enough time! All you have to do is find it.
How do you practice being “Not Busy”.