Busy Earning a Living…!

Do you ever go through a period of time when, no matter how much work you finish, you just cannot seem to catch up, leave alone get ahead? I know I have had this feeling at times. Maybe it’s just part of being caught up in the never ending race called Corporate America, yet even today I find myself getting caught up in this “race,” and I don’t actually work in that arena anymore…

I recently talked with a friend who just could not seem to get everything done. In fact, I talked to him several times over a period of three days. Each time that I did, he sounded like he was further behind. No, it wasn’t because he had talked to me those times. I believe it was because he was suffering from what business author Mark McCormack described as “working too hard earning a living, to really make any money.”

He was so focused on trying to get everything done, that he had never stopped long enough to determine what items on his lengthy list were most important. In fact, did I say he had a list? Perhaps in his mind he did, but he killed his own efficiency by failing to take several key steps.

First, he never stopped long enough to literally make a list of the items he needed to complete. Additionally, he did not take a moment to prioritize them. I believe this is what Stephen Covey referred to as “beginning with the end in mind.” He needed to decide what he wanted to accomplish and then prioritize the tasks that would get him closer to those specific goals.

What? Who has time for this, you ask? I would suggest that the process of making a list could end up saving you a significant amount of time. Making a list and determining what is most important, what should be second, and so on would likely save you a considerable amount of time. Who knows? You might even find some synchronization of steps where you and your colleagues can gain some efficiency by working together…

 My advice is that when you get this “busy,” you need a road map planned out more than ever. Most people don’t plan to fail. They simply fail to plan and then lose their focus. I suggest you give it a try, because as famous investor Warren Buffet says of such times, “It’s only when the tide goes out that you find out who’s not wearing swimming trunks.”