Business Coaching, Management Training and More by The BCF Group

Too Busy Being Busy


The new behaviour of being busy makes us disrespect our colleagues, come across as hurried, creates short-sightedness, expands blind spots, increases careless mistakes and results in missed opportunities that we can't get back. Busyness behaviour creates more "if only", "I should have", "I could have", than anything else in our life - which ultimately leads to self-shaming.

As a result our motivation slips down along the motivational scale from Potentially Commit/Durably Commit to Comply or even, at worst, Reluctantly Comply. This in turn diminishes our productivity by at least 20-30%. So if you were performing at 60-70%, you are now at risk of performing at 50%. Not good... Not only for the business, but for you also. Your self-esteem, drive and purpose are immediately contaminated.

Motivation Scale

Reluctant Comply --> Comply --> Commit --> Durably Commit

How can we get you out of your funk?

What is the real message you are sending when you're saying "I'm so busy", "sorry I'm late", "couldn't attend the meeting", "wanted to call however didn't", or even "we had a meeting scheduled however I can't attend it, apologies for the short notice".

  • I want you to judge me based on how busy I am, not how productive I am
  • My time is more important than yours
  • I'm not very good at prioritising my time
  • You aren't a priority, or at least what you want to speak with me about isn't a priority
  • I'm ineffective in managing myself
  • My consideration for others is low

What do you want to do about it?

Say what you mean - "this is not a priority for me at the moment". This is because, remember, that for everything you are saying no to, there is something you are saying yes to. Understandably this might be difficult at first, and some folk might feel affronted by your choice, but this should get better the more you apply this technique.

So then:

  • 1. Get stronger at recognising what's needed for you to do better in your job with the time you have.
  • 2. Prioritise your efforts and time allocation better to truly be able to say no.
  • 3. Allocate time for you (at least 20 min/day), not for planning the rest of your day, that should be in as a time management tool already. No, this 20 minutes is for you to breath/reflect/recalibrate your thoughts (yes, thinking time)

Be careful of your ego. It's a big monster and might get fed when you say "this isn't a priority for me", and can come across as, "Oh, my time is more important than yours". You need to legitimately, authentically and collaboratively be able to truly give reasons for your prioritisation when asked. So genuinely think through your priorities.

This 3 step activity should give you Good Commitment or even Durable Commitment to your time, and as a result, potentially improve your output during that time by at least 20%, surely?

Think about it: If you don't feel motivated to do something, the effort you put in is probably less than when you love what you do and put your heart and soul into it. So it stands to reason that potentially when you do what is needed rather than go that extra step, the potential output is far less than it should be, right? If you had to measure the difference between whole heartedly committed versus "OK, I'll do it if I have to", what do you reckon the percentage difference is between the two efforts? So I wasn't far off!

ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management

ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management Course

As well as providing our own first line management courses, we also offer the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management qualification.

Accredited by the Institute of Leadership and Management (ILM), the ILM Level 3 Award in Leadership and Management qualification is also aimed at managers who have had little or no previous formal management training.

Along with core management skills and performance of management tasks such as project management, leading meetings and delegating, the course syllabus aims to develop managerial skills by covering many related subject areas including leadership, planning and managing change, communication skills and the management of people.

We currently run this qualification as an open course at our Nottingham, Manchester and Reading training venues, as well as offering it as an in-house programme for a group of our managers. As part of our Online Future Leaders Journey, we also offer the ILM Level 3 Award and ILM Level 3 Certificate qualifications in Leadership and Management as online courses which can be taken over 12 and 18 months respectively, and are idea for those who cannot take the three days out of the workplace to attend an open course.