“Bee” Busy Doing the Right Things

I find it interesting that some people can appear super busy, yet don’t necessarily accomplish very much. How is that possible, when others can drive home task after task, project after project.  I believe it is because they spend their time on low-value tasks and procrastinate on the high-value activities that need attention. So they look busy, and truly are, yet they are busy doing the wrong stuff and unfortunately not getting the results they desire.

I recently spoke about this topic at the 2017 National Conference and Exposition for the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). I illustrated the point that if we don’t manage our time, other people will, and we will end up stealing it from our spouses, our children and even ourselves. So how we spend our time is an extension of our values. It is important.

When you think of someone who consistently accomplishes a lot, what traits come to mind?

  • Inclusive, collaborative
  • Pleasant, friendly
  • Approachable
  • Delegates well
  • Easy to get along with
  • Positive, laughs, has fun
  • Appreciates & rewards others
  • Accountable
  • Has integrity
  • Does what he/she says they will do
  • Self-disciplined
  • Very organized

None of the traits mentioned include a magic pill; it is simply about clearly knowing what you need to do AND then doing it.

Complete this statement in your head…”I wish I had time to…” For me the answers are, “grab lunch with one of my sons, landscape in our flower garden or enjoy date night with my hubby.”  What are these things worth to me? What is the pay-off? If I stay disciplined, then I’ll get to do these things. If I utilize my time better, this is my reward. 

Don’t let procrastination get in the way of staying disciplined. After all, procrastination is not a character flaw…it’s a bad habit. Instead of giving into excuses, like I used to do much more years ago, consider the metaphor so famously aligned with the insect many of us try hard to evade. Bees don’t know how to procrastinate and likely don’t get side-tracked very often.  They just know how to work hard, and harder, and even harder yet, doing the right things…hence, the phrase, “busy as a bee.”

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