One Thing at a Time: too busy? (part 3)

(Continued from here: For years we have been trying to do more with less. We, as employees, entrepreneurs, and parents seek to multitask and get more done in less time. The Great American Dream was to increase productivity and leisure time – but that hasn’t worked out so well. We thought we could systematize industry and agriculture, and allow ourselves shorter work weeks and more time to pursue self actualization.)

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Don’t say, “I’m just too busy.

Drowning under a mountain of paperIf you’re too busy, then you need to do less. It’s really that simple. Whenever you say yes to one thing, you’re automatically saying no to something else. If you say yes to working overtime, then you are probably saying no to eating dinner with your family, showing up at your kids’ baseball game, or to getting enough sleep at night. There are only 24 hours in a day, 168 hours in a week, and 52 weeks in a year. At least a third of that time should be spent sleeping and at least a third of that time should be spent outside of work.

When you’re young, you may be able to cut corners on sleep, healthy eating, and relationships – but whenever you take a shortcut, you will incur a debt. You may shorten your life, damage your marriage, or fail to instill a good self-esteem in your kids. Sure, you can work hard later to regain these things, but it’s much easier and cheaper to do it right the first time – and a lot harder to change course later on.

If you’re too busy, then you need to do less”

It’s easy to think I can say yes to everything, but it isn’t true. If you are too busy, it’s your own fault. If you are always tired, stressed, and emotionally unavailable, you have no one to blame but yourself. Don’t say, “I have no choice.” It’s simply not true. You do have a choice.

Sometimes you make choices that affect you further down the road, and those choices can be Hell to pay, but you still have options.”Aaahhh!!!

Let’s say you racked up thousands of dollars in debt and now you feel trapped in a job that is killing you. Most people will say, “I want to quit, but I can’t. I have no choice. I have to keep working here until I get this debt paid off.” Or maybe you have no debt but your mortgage and house payment. Either way, you believe you are trapped in your job.

The first thing you need to realize is that you do have choices. Besides the obvious, bankruptcy, foreclosure, or slipping quietly out of the country to live a life as a fugitive – you have plenty of other choices. There are always choices. You might consider bank robbery, which has a low chance of succeeding, or winning the lottery, which might have an even slimmer chance of success, but there are always choices.

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(to be continued…)

Part 1 – Multitasking

Part 2 – An example from a paramedic

Part 3 – Don’t say, “I’m just too busy.

Part 4 – What we did

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