Busy Being Busy

Tousled hair. Papers askew. And most important of all, an air of helpless overwhelm. This is the overworked worker.

Sometimes the frazzle is honest. But just as often, it’s a game designed to deflect responsibility and actual work.

We all know people who spend half their time telling others how overwhelmed they are, but you need a microscope to find what they actually accomplished. They seem so busy, so committed, that management sometimes finds it hard to say anything. And they keep on being busy being busy.

Then there are those who are quietly and happily productive—and end up with the lion’s share of the outcome riding on their shoulders.

The perception of hard work should never be a cover up for ineffective work. No matter where you are in the company, it isn’t kind to the whole team to let someone ride along on that perception without making a real contribution.

A feeling of being overwhelmed isn’t something to be proud of—it’s a problem in need of a solution. Be that solution. Next time someone whines to you about how busy they are, make suggestions for using their time more efficiently. And if you are that person, realize that you could shave your hours substantially and do the same work, or even more, and be happier in the process.

One Response to “Busy Being Busy”

  1. Mary Maher says:

    Hi, what if that person is your supervisor and you feel uncomfortable providing suggestions to be more efficient?

    Thank you.

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