Busy is just the latest buzz word – it’s really about priorities

Ange Connor

Is it just me or have you noticed that everyone you cross paths with these days is “busy.”  Everyone I seem to talk to, whether it be professional or personal, tells me they have been so busy, that they are time poor and just can’t seem to keep up.  It feels like we just keep trying to cram more and more in to the twenty four hours we have in a day.  Life feels like it’s moving at a far greater pace (which has a lot to do with technology in my opinion) and we are all feeling the pressure to keep up.

I’m no different, reflecting on business functions I’ve attended over the last week and the people I’ve spoken to, the “yes it’s been a busy week” or “I’m so busy and struggling to keep up” just rolls off the tongue.  We nod and smile at each other as we each acknowledge and sympathise with the other over how busy we are with whatever it is we are trying to cram in to our twenty four hours. Then there are the people who are busier than anyone else and they justify it by reeling off all the things that they’ve got on their plate trying to explain why they are busier or why they haven’t got back to you or can’t fit you in for that meeting or catch up.  I’m sure you know the ones.

Busy has become the latest buzz word to make us all feel better about not doing something, overlooking something or buying us some time to maybe commit or attend to doing something at a later date.  I know I’m guilty of it.  And yes I can hear some of you already saying, how can you be time poor compared to me.  No I don’t have children to run around to after school commitments, I don’t run a multi-million dollar business with hundreds of staff to manage and the reasons go on.  I was at a business event earlier this week when a speaker made a light hearted comment about how an early twenties uni student had said to her (a very high profile business woman, juggling motherhood and a successful career) that he was time poor and how she had thought how, as a uni student, could you possibly be time poor.

We all have the same twenty four hours in the day, we all have things we want to fill that twenty four hours with.  Busy has become this buzz word that we pin to our chest as if it’s a badge of honour to justify how much we squeeze in to our busy schedules.  Being busy doesn’t make us any more important than the next person. Busy is simply about priorities. We all have choices about what we prioritise into our daily schedules.

When a potential candidate tells me they can’t fit in that job interview for a week and a half because they are too busy tells me that this job really isn’t a priority to them.  When a client tells me they are too busy to see me this week or month it tells me recruitment and HR really isn’t a problem for them right now and is not on their radar.  When a friend tells me they are time poor and can’t fit in that catch up or invest the time in travelling to see me as opposed to me making the effort to go to them it tells me that a catch up is not a priority for them right now.  And that’s ok.  I do the same thing myself.  We should just pitch the reply another way and be honest about our priorities and what is important for us to fit in to our day and week rather than throwing around the busy line. At the end of the day we are all busy, we all have our own lives, jobs, hobbies and families to juggle and we are all in control of making the decisions of what we do with our time and how we allocate it.

I was thinking of a high profile, very successful business mentor I have.  He would have to be one of the “busiest” people I know. He crams a lot in to his twenty four hours that’s for sure. Yet I cannot recall a time where he said to me “I’m busy.” He talks about the huge volume of work he has on, shares stories and struggles of the challenges to fit everything in to life yet he has never pulled the busy card.  I don’t think it’s in his vocabulary!

From here on busy is banned from my vocabulary too, no longer will it be the buzz word I use to justify what I chose to fit in to my day.  If you cross paths with me and hear my use the b-word please pull me up on it, it might be a habit that is harder to break than I think. And that goes for “time poor” too!  Are you with me?  Will you ban the busy word and focus on being true to your priorities instead?

About The Author
Ange Connor

Ange is the Founder and Director of Inspire HQ, one of regional Victoria’s leading recruitment, human resource (HR) and careers agencies. Ange is an ‘ideas’ person and a ‘big picture’ thinker. She loves to challenge the status quo – in fact, that’s how Inspire HQ began.

Ange has supported hundreds of businesses across Ballarat and regional Victoria to attract, engage, motivate, develop and retain their greatest assets; their people. Ange’s unyielding passion and invaluable knowledge of the recruitment and HR industry ensures she delivers the best solutions for her clients.

Ange has held various board positions and regularly volunteers her time to share her industry and market knowledge. She was recently a Councillor for the Victoria and Tasmania region of the Recruitment Consulting and Staffing Association (RCSA) of Australia and New Zealand, and she is a current Board Director of the Committee for Ballarat.

For more useful information, follow Ange on LinkedIn.

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