By Perry Rearick, Chief Editor, Follow Your Buyer
In his book, “The Power of Human”, Adam Waytz shares a story of an immigrant to the US who mistakenly thought that the word “busy” meant “good” because every time he asked someone how they were, they said busy.
Busyness has become a modern symbol for success, some of us wear it like a badge of honor. Ask ten people you work with today how they’re doing, and you’ll hear a string of replies like my to-do list is blown-up, I don’t have enough time, or my schedule is crazy. Have we become time poor, or has our corporate culture confused busyness with productivity?
Marketing and sales teams are beset with the culture of busyness. There isn’t a day that goes by that someone has not cancelled a meeting because something else “more important” has come up. Doesn’t that make you feel good inside. Or the next time you’re in a meeting, note how many people are transfixed on their laptops and phones. Why, because they’re just so busy that they must multi-task their way through the day.
The truth is that busyness is killing our business and us.
According to Waytz, when organizations overload employees and base their incentives primarily on the amount of time they work, productivity and efficiency actually drop. Exhaustion among employees can increase turnover at considerable cost to firms’ financial performance.
We need to just knock this off, but easier said than done. Here are some specific things you can do.
- Start each day with a to-do list, review each activity and (attempt) to tie it to an overall business outcome that is desired.
- Identify the biggest opportunities for each day by prioritizing activities that support multiple business outcomes, that’s true multi-tasking!
- Be where you are always! Eliminate other work when in meetings. If you shouldn’t be in the meeting, then don’t be there.
- Seek situational awareness and clarity from others. This enables initiative that will improve the business and foster collaboration rather than just consume time.
OK, time to get busy…only kidding.