Three Simple Techniques to Quit Being So Damn Busy at Work

Are you so busy with meetings and emails that you can’t focus on what really needs your attention?

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One of the chief complaints of many of the executives I coach is: “I’m so busy I can’t get anything important done!” And according to a new Stanford study on “Zoom fatigue,” video meetings have exacerbated the problem. 

Busy-ness like this is a very common phenomenon, and damages relationships and morale, and hurts innovation and productivity. It makes it hard to be an Amare (love-centered) organization that is committed to connecting and uplifting one another.

Yet, as frustrating and exhausting it is to be so busy, there is a payoff too. Otherwise you wouldn’t keep doing it, right? The payoff may not be healthy, but it does meet some need. For example, the payoff may be about fitting in and playing it safe, or avoiding deeper work and being your best. Once you identify the payoff, you can choose to keep it going or switch things up.

If you’re feeling the busy-ness and overwhelm, consider your answers to the following questions:

  • What do you associate with being super-busy?
  • How does being busy relate to your self-worth? 
  • What might happen if you got un-busy?

Your answers on their own can provide great insight into what to do next to combat these feelings. Maybe you need to let go of concerns about what others think of you, or beliefs that if you’re not super busy you’re lazy or underperforming. For specific techniques, keep reading.

Three Amare Techniques to Deal with Crazy Busy

There are a ton of resources for managing schedules, tasks, and meetings. You might already be using some of them. These three I’ve listed below are a little bit different than what you’ll find in your usual roundup of business advice. All three are highly effective and something you can implement today. 

1. Change Your Inside. Whether or not your business establishes different norms around busy-ness, you can control your internal reactions. Choose an attitude that is authentic, lets you give your best, and protects your energy. Not easy, but very powerful.

2. Not 60 Minutes. There’s nothing magical about having meetings take an hour. Make your meetings 50 minutes (like college classes!) so you have time to absorb what you just finished and transition to what’s next. During the break, just sit and do nothing – even for a couple minutes.

3. Know What’s Important. Make a very short list of the three things that are most important for you to focus on. As a leader, they will likely include both long-term and more immediate needs. Plug in non-negotiable time every week for these priorities.

How do you feel now? Empowered to try something new? Motivated to get un-busy? Let me know in the comments below – I’d love to hear what change you’re planning to implement and how it goes. 

For more ideas about approaching business from an Amare perspective, check out my book, The Amare Wave: Uplifting Business by Putting Love to Work.

Today’s Amare Wave Wednesday Quote

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”

―Henry David Thoreau



Modified from original publication on

Note: Do you like this article? Every Wednesday, I encourage people with articles like this, to do ONE thing to put the power of love to work in their organization, through my newsletter Amare Wave Wednesday. These consistent actions are collectively growing the wave and making people happier and businesses better. To receive your Amare Wave Wednesday newsletter every Wednesday, click here to subscribe. Get something you love in your inbox again!

To learn more about the Amare Way movement, the book The Amare Wave, or my Amare executive coaching services, visit

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