April 4: Busy? So is everyone else

By · Friday, April 4th, 2014

For the month of April, our blog will be devoted to polishing
your professional skills.
Everything you need to know about courtesy, manners and common sense.
And we do mean “need” to know.


What do you think might be the two most commonly used words to decline an invitation, skirt an opportunity or not reply to an email? “I’m busy.” Does this apply to you? Then welcome to the club.

Everyone is busy. But everyone in your universe doesn’t need to know it. Here are some ways to be productive while you are being busy.

  1. Be honest. Don’t use the “I’m busy” reason when what you really mean is: “I don’t really want to attend” or “I’m not interested in (fill in the blank).” There are truthful ways to decline an invitation or opportunity that probably also will put you in a better light. Everyone’s time is valuable. Don’t make your time seem more important than the next person’s.
  2. Create categories. Budget your time the same way you budget your money. Don’t spend more than you have at any given time. Allot reasonable amounts of time to spend on designated categories: your job, your classwork, your home, your relationships, your recreation and don’t forget yourself — downtime to refresh and be ready to start again.
  3. Track your time. What, exactly, are you doing with your time that makes you so busy? Figure out ways to multitask, when possible. Answer an email while you are waiting in line for that coffee. Don’t get into the dangerous habit of opening emails on your mobile device only to forget about them. It easily happens to us all. If you are curious enough to read an email, be sure you have the time to answer it — or at least flag it so you remember to respond. The go-to apology, “I got so busy it got buried in my mail” is so overused that it no longer is believable.

Read it. Learn it. Live it.
Be that person.

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