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  • Sharon Borland

#23 Are You a Busy Bee?

Are you too busy? Is your ‘to-do’ list controlling you? Examining whether you’re really doing the things that matter could free up time.

In my last blog I wrote about some of the ways in which I might be inadvertently encouraging others to talk about how busy they are. Here, I’m thinking more about why we’re busy and whether my ‘to-do’ list is actually helping me.

It seems to me that the conversations I hear often fall into one of the following:

  • people seeming to delight in opportunities to tell me how busy they are

  • people complaining about being too busy

At times, I think I do both of these things but the predominant one for me is complaining about being too busy. This often happens when there’s something that I think I ‘should’ have done or something that I say I ‘would like to do’ but haven’t found time for. So, before I start considering how I can possibly fit in this thing that I haven’t so far managed to find time for, perhaps it’s worth examining whether I really want to fit in the ‘should’ or the ‘would like to’. Here are some of the questions that could be helpful:

  • Why do I feel the need or desire to do this thing?

  • Am I really clear about specifically what this ‘thing’ is?

  • Is it for me or someone else?

  • Is it really important to me and if it isn’t, is another person important enough that I want to do it anyway?

  • Do I have a choice about whether to do it or not? Notice that we can often decide quickly that we have no choice when actually we do, so it’s worth questioning/challenging why we believe we have no choice.

  • Is there someone else I could ask to do it instead?

  • What are the consequences of not doing it?

One of the reasons I might end up with things to do that might not really be what I want to do is my ‘to-do’ list. I’m beginning to wonder whether I control it or it controls me?! I have a tendency to put things onto it without much thought and some items stay there for a long time. Each time I look at the list I consider whether to do this thing or put it off for another day. Eventually, it gets done and I feel relieved it’s finally off the list or I wait so long that it no longer seems important or it’s too late to act on – either way, it doesn’t seem to be very efficient or effective at times.

There are, of course, times when it’s really hard to find time for some things but there are likely to be far more times when we could fit it in if it was really important to us. More on this in the next blog but for now consider what things you really want to find time for.


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