Let’s talk about busy-ness. In the last 20 hours, not only have I heard THREE business leaders tell me how busy their people are, and why they can’t possibly prospect, coach, and prioritize, but I just saw a license plate with BIZYMOM on it.

busy badgeI’m sure you’ve heard it. You ask a client, prospect, friend, neighbor, or colleague “How are you?” and often the first words you hear in response are, “So busy.” Or “I’m really swamped.”

I want to yell “Stop the craziness!”

My awareness of this syndrome started years ago. A woman I worked with wore her “Busy Badge” so well that no one dared to ask her for anything or to do anything. She made it very clear that she was just too busy. This is not good if you are the leader of marketing whose job is to react to the market, clients, and sales team.

Sometimes it seems that Busy Badges are easy to come by. I’ve noticed some company cultures seem to promote Busy Badges among the team. And you know what I think? That busy-ness is an excuse or obstacle to keep from:

  • Doing anything different
  • Taking on something new
  • Proactivity
  • Being accountable

It seems some people think the Busy Badge also makes them invaluable.

I say “not”!

What  does busy-ness prevent?

  • Creativity
  • Flexibility
  • Customer or client relationships
  • Performance
  • Collaboration
  • Business!

The top performers I work with and know don’t talk about their busy-ness. They talk about their business. There is a HUGE difference.

We need to discuss our projects, workloads, timelines, and commitments. We can ask for help in prioritizing, getting help or resources to get things done when needed. That’s good time and practice management.

BUT (yes a big but!), When Busy Badges are used as an excuse or a way to keep ‘others’ off your back and prevents you from opening your mind to ideas or suggestions, then it’s time to stop wearing the badge.

Remove the Busy Badge from your vocabulary. How? With the following tips:

  1. When you hear the words coming out of your mouth, stop. Ask yourself: Why am I saying this? What is going on? Even if it is true, what message am I sending?
  2. Prioritize each day.
  3. Make the time to plan and think.
  4. Write down what you have going on. Seeing it on paper will help you ‘see’ the reality. And…
  5. If you are really THAT busy and can’t plan, prioritize, or be proactive. Talk with someone who can help you.

In the meantime, I’d LOVE to hear someone respond to the question, “How are you?” like Bill Payne of Lohmann Technologies Corporation does, “Joyful as always.”

Talk about approachable, humble, and ALWAYS good to work and connect with? Give me the joyful badge any day.

Your Turn! How often do you wear a Busy Badge? Does it help or hurt?
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