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Greetings dear reader & welcome to my world again this week. Well, here we are then, just passed the first week of December & only 12 more working days, for most of us, until our annual Christmas & New Year holidays. It is at times such as these a typical response to a commonly asked question which has become a conversational crutch: “How’s it going?” Invariably, the response: “Good! Just busy.”

This exchange is appears to be found everywhere in both our personal & professional lives. It is as if busyness carries a certain status symbol. Yet, being” busy” does not make us happier; & it does not make us more productive. It just means we are filling all of our available time.

I read an article this week by Robert Glazer who said: “years ago, in one of our quarterly offsite meetings, a leadership team member told our facilitator, “I just do not have enough time!” The facilitator’s looked at her, then at all of us, & said, “As a leader, ‘not enough time’ is an excuse you all must take out of your vocabulary. If you are waiting for all this free time to come, it is never going to happen. It is about what you prioritize & how you use your time. Effective leaders know how to prioritize what is most important.”

His words have stuck with both him & I ever since. Even though I still find the phrasing “I am busy!” on the tip of my tongue when someone asks me how I have been, I make a conscious effort & try not to say it. I try being the operative word, & given the lack of productivity all around us these days, try it certainly is.

Instead of hopelessly waiting to be given the gift of more free time, consider what high-achievers do to stay focused and accomplish large, long-term goals. They:

  1. Accept time is a precious & fixed resource
  2. Know how to separate Urgent from Important
  3. Align their top priorities with their core purpose & values
  4. Do not book 100% of their time; they value rests & relaxation
  5. Constantly look for things they should stop doing
  6. Are selective about the people they give their energy to.    [1]
Management guru Peter Drucker has said: “effective leaders record, manage & consolidate their time. If we were more accountable & honest with ourselves about our time & how we spend it, I think we would all be far more effective & happier.” It transpires, most people are not very accurate in recollecting how they spent their time in a given day or week.

When an important task is not getting done, it is important to acknowledge & admit you have chosen to spend your time on less important tasks (for example, posting on Facebook & Instagram). Instead of saying “I did not have enough time,” try saying “I chose to do X today instead of Y” or “I am getting distracted” or “I am focusing on the negative things.” Or perhaps even better; I am focusing on something which does not work towards my goals…

This honesty & accountability will help you use your time more wisely, accomplish more & be less “busy.” Conversely, it also important to take time & relax, not actually have a desire to achieve anything for a period. Hopefully, this is what many of us can think about as we come into our holiday season.

Quote of the Week: “The price of anything is the amount of life you exchange for it.”                          ~ Henry David Thoreau

I hope my comments are helpful this week dear readers, & again, provide just an opinion, from my world. Thank you for taking the time to be with me, I hope my journey may encourage you also. This is Kenn Butler in Paradise, Nelson. With my best wishes for another week… I look forward to being with you all again soon.
[1] Robert Glazer: Entrepreneur, Best-Selling Author & Speaker | Founder & CEO @ Acceleration Partners

Kenn Butler
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