Nicholas T. Rustad www.travinick.com

I am so busy!

Have you heard co-workers state how busy they are, time and time again? Ultimately stating how busy they or you are may make others feel less important, but it can make you feel more important.  We all have a natural desire to be wanted, to belong to a group, and feel valued.  But, we must remember than this needs to be balanced with how we treat others and how we want to be perceived.  Technology can be the culprit or the tool to improve your time management.  Are you on Facebook at work?

Technology can be our best friend, and technology can also be the biggest party pooper of our lives. It interrupts our own story, interrupts our ability to have a thought or a daydream, to imagine something wonderful, because we’re too busy bridging the walk from the cafeteria back to the office on the cell phone. -Steven Spielberg

A couple things to consider if you are making these comments to your co-workers or clients.

Areas of Concern

1. Stating how busy you are will make others feel less important.
We are all busy, and if we treat others as important and the focus of our time, we will have healthier relationships and enhanced career goals.

2. Are you playing victim?
I have worked with may individuals who continually explain to everyone how busy they are but then I find out they are not managing their time appropriately, letting their calendar be held hostage by others, and not taking responsibility for their availability.

We are all in charge of our calendars, if you need more time to focus on maintenance tasks, or other work, block it. Put your instant message software on “do not disturb” and give yourself the time to be successful. This is up to you, anything other than taking responsibility for your availability is playing victim, especially when you complain about your schedule to others. Take back the control. You will feel empowered and have improved mental health.

3. Limit the inputs and create barriers of entry.
Every person, system, process, and tool must have barriers of entry otherwise everyone would exploit the resource. For example, if we design a valuable system so easy that anyone can use it at any time with no possible issue, the system would be consumed and the cost to maintain performance expectations would be extreme. The same holds true for your knowledge and experience. Inform your colleagues on your process to work with you, especially if you are be bombarded with requests. For example, tell your work buddies to schedule time with you, if they have a request. Instant messaging you at any time for work requests is not appropriate. This will protect your time, and create a barrier for entry that is professional, responsible and more streamlined for you to help those that need your time.

In summary, stop telling people how busy you are, this will make them feel less important, take responsibility for your time and end the victim routine, lastly create barriers of entry to grab your focus. Master these basics and you will enhance your career and mental health.

Nicholas is an information technology and organizational behavior leader with over 20 years of experience managing complex ITSM processes, leading teams of professionals, and developing high-level strategy for operational effectiveness. Nicholas has a B.A. in Organizational Behavior from The College of Saint Scholastica and an MBA from The Carlson School of Management through the University of Minnesota. He has worked at Accenture, Faegre Baker Daniels (Formerly Faegre & Benson), Capella University, The Pillsbury Company, LifeTouch, Bremer Bank, and now is currently a Solutions Architect at Concurrency, a top mid-west Microsoft partner. Nicholas is currently a member of the following organizations: - International Institute of Business Analysis

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