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Idle Busyness = Busyness which is unproductive

Idle Busyness = Busyness which is unproductive

I remember my first engineering manager carried a Day Timer, but you were not officially on his calendar until you made it onto his table top (stationary not mobile) calendar. 

Shouldn’t time management be easier today? I mean, after all most of the workforce carries their work and life calendar in their hand. The official calendar is now very mobile and far from stationary.

So why are so many people late for appointments, missing deadlines, and living in distress instead of eustress concerning their daily activities?

One possible reason is we are constantly available. We are available to everyone no matter what time of day it is. So, what can we do about it?

The first step towards gaining control is understanding how to prioritize your tasks. Many of us are very busy during the day. We have 10 tasks on our plate and we accomplished half of them. Unfortunately, we elect to knock out tasks instead of working through our priorities. Often, “idle busyness” involves working on the 6 least impactful tasks in our list of ten.

Priorities can often be managed like clients when you consider the 80/20 rule. (80% of our business is driven by 20% of your customers.) Obviously, we focus our efforts on the 20%.

When scheduling your day, it is important to look at which one or two items will vastly improve your job performance, personal relationships, and drive your business forward.

Yes, the top priority is usually harder and requires focus, but you will be much more satisfied finalizing your marketing plan instead of making sure you ordered a new white board for the office. Both are tasks on your list of priorities, but one has substantially more impact than the other. This is prioritization, or a simplified example.

Scheduling your priorities into your calendar is a great first step towards improved time management. As many time management gurus from Ben Franklin to Covey to Tony Robins will tell you, taking control of your priorities is the first step towards controlling your time – and not allowing others to steal your time.

Many people more influential than me have zealously expounded on the importance of time management. This post is not meant to provide all of the answers to your idle busyness, but it does provide a first step towards taking control of your schedule.

I look forward to your receiving your input in the comments section. Please add your advice as well as share any successes and learning experiences you may have with managing your priorities.

If there is anything I can do to be of service through my network or expertise, please do not hesitate to let me know.