I read an interesting article in Fast Company today. It talked about how to deal with being ‘busy”. Lots of people complain about working 70 or 80 hour weeks. But we know the truth: many of them are not complaining. They are actually bragging. Trust me, there are better ways to feel important.
Where this does become a problem is when people are too busy to advance their careers.
Managers love this. When someone is too busy to breathe, it is pretty tough for them to refresh their resume or respond to a headhunter’s LinkedIn message.
The author of the article suggested two things:
- Think about a week as a block of hours
- Take a look at what is actually eating up your time
The first idea is kind of neat. If you look at a week as 168 hours and you spend 8 hours sleeping each night (work with me here….) that leaves 112 hours for work and other stuff. Even if you work 70 hours, that still leaves more than 40 for things like your resume or responding to that message. This feels more manageable than just looking at one twelve hour day at a time.
The second may reveal things you don’t like so be prepared. Keep careful track of what you do for a week. That includes Candy Crush, going for coffee and dallying on Pinterest.
See the patterns? See the time you are using to procrastinate or just kill time between things? That’s where you can make some changes and take back some control.
Maybe you can fit in time to meet a former colleague for coffee or update your profile. And once you figure that out, you can even look at going to the gym more or starting a blog.
Check out the app store for your device. Look under “time tracker” but be careful -there are a lot of choices and you don’t want to use up too many of your 168 hours.