Anyone who knows me knows that I religiously leverage my calendar to make sure I prioritize and shift tasks in order to get everything done as efficiently as possible. My approach is based on my core values (personal & professional) and prioritizing what is important versus unimportant. I definitely value my time and protect it. I take full accountability for how I spend it. That’s why I am a big believer in waking up early, working with purpose, working smart and getting things done – you know, the invisible work that Jeff Bezos famously refers to.
However, over the last 12-18 months, I have really started to question whether or not “busy” is the new “stupid”. In a world seduced by entrepreneurship porn and the glamorization of the “grind”, we need to step back and take notice of this epidemic. There are tons who are sacrificing their personal development and health while on a professional journey. A journey filled with glamorizing the busy life via social or by attending every single networking event the city can possibly hold, all in addition to being seduced in to mixers and incubator/chamber events due to FOMO (fear of missing out). Many feel their lack of ‘busyness’ means they are unsuccessful. Now listen, I’m in favour of being active in the community because that’s how you create opportunities, but your activity has to have a purpose and should aim directly at what you are trying to achieve, especially if your activities are going to take away from your personal time and family. It should not be aimlessly and meaninglessly driven by FOMO. It should be driven by the fact that you are hitting your professional and personal milestones and goals. The bottom line is that there needs to be results tied to your “busyness”, or you’re just haemorrhaging time! And I get it; I live it and I’ve said it before, entrepreneurship and business, especially today, is 24/7 with little to no downtime, but I implore you carve out time in your day to ensure you are not neglecting all parts of your life. It’s super important to control your time and create a cohesive and healthy approach to everything you do. Being “busy” is not the indicator of success and mentioning “you’re too busy for x” is not an indicator of success. In my opinion it is the indicator of only 2 things:
1) Whatever you are “too busy for” is simply not a priority – which is fair, but I challenge you to tell the person that it is not a priority at the moment versus just mentioning that you are too busy.
2) You’re not able to control your time – which is scary, especially when growing a business and/or family.
Overall, as mentioned by Robert Glazer via Inc. – “Being busy shouldn’t be a status symbol. It probably means you need to manage your time better.” Even Albert Einstein concluded – “If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough“. I can apply this quote to this article as well. If you can’t simplify, organize and manage your life and time for personal development, claiming that you are just too busy…then you don’t understand your own life well enough.
Bill Gates states that you should ask yourself 4 crucial questions in order to assess the quality of your life (the last being inspired by Warren Buffett):
- Did I devote enough time to my family?
- Did I learn enough new things?
- Did I develop new friendships and deepen old ones?
- Do the people I care about love me back?
Gates even goes a little deeper in this video here, have a listen:
Now, I will continue to put in the invisible work by waking up early, working with purpose, working smart and getting things done. And I will still schedule my day, minute by minute, for maximum efficiency (both professionally and personally), never claiming that I am too busy, but prioritizing where my time goes. By doing this, it will continue to open up more time and focus into sitting, reading, thinking and meditating, the things that centre me, energize me and keeps me moving forward! Moving forward is ideal for business and life. This approach will ensure that I have the mental capacity and time to spend time where I want to spend time, ensuring that I can answer all 4 above questions from Mr. Gates.
Do you control your time? Share, like and comment below.