- As a competitive or status thing
- For some, doing things is more important than the things you
- Efficiency versus effectiveness
- Conversations with Coach Al
- Locus of control
- The meaning we’re making with our choice of words
- Yes, but not now
- Better than willpower
- Busy living or living busy?
Welcome to the dealing with Goliath podcast. This is a solo episode. If you’re new to dealing with Goliath, check out episode zero gives you a good overview of what’s going on and the different formats. But this episode we will call busy is banned.so busy is an odd word isn’t us. It’s something that I whether COVID or pre COVID you’d hear a lot you’d say you know how you do and you see you know, friend or colleague or some How are things how’s life How’s work? And invariably if you’re the words Oh, busy, really busy, crazy busy. Oh, right. Oh, massively busy. Oh, I’m rushed off my feet. I don’t know if that’s quite an Irish phrase is it are such a very common one. But you’d hear this kind of Oh, bordering on overwhelm this, what they’re saying they’re they’re barely keeping the ship together.
But these people To save more as well, some say it is kind of a badge of honor. And others seem to say it is kind of a seem to say, look at how bad I have it, like a put upon sort of phrase. Now it’s not to say people aren’t busy, like I know well, the amount of people particularly since COVID kicked off and work has changed and a lot more stress in some regards with that, that people some people are gone literally from the moment they wake up to the moment they go to sleep. It’s all go and it’s all the more so with people but young kids Of course it is. You know, because the kids are demanding attention the whole time. Right? And trying to get any work done in a focus is a nightmare.
I know. Some of my friends have kids who you know are the proper smallest little toddler kind of age or slightly above that. And you know, you talk to them on the phone, sometimes work calls, which is social call, but you know, three minutes you’re lucky to get three until you hear the little, little eyes peeking in the door and Daddy or Mammy, you know, and they need something or want something and they, they just really don’t get, you know, that dad or mom is trying to work here.
Whereas when they’re older, you know, you can sit in front of the telly or book and they can be doing things for much longer periods of time. But anyway, I digress. This whole idea of busy because people tend to say it, say it in this competitive way. Don’t there’s like, almost so “you’ve no idea. You have an easy, you know, you think you’re busy. I’m actually busy, right?” So it’s this kind of, you have a good type of thing. I’m the one who’s really suffering here. Some people use them that way.
Other people it’s because they’re so they have such an important life. There’s a status thing there as well isn’t there. There’s a status element where If I’m not busy, what am I? Are you not working hard enough unless you’re busy, that the getting doing things is more important than the things you do.
So there’s a whole lesson inside there on efficiency versus effectiveness. So point being highly efficient, at things that don’t really matter that don’t really move that needle. You know, this is a lesson that I’m continually learning I mean, these By the way, these little posts are as much for me to listen to myself to go oh good one Al. You know, because I often find myself having conversations in my head with Coach Al, as the coach Al hat goes on and goes, gives me a talking to or that’s not fair. Just give me talk to Okay, sometimes he does, more so it’s asking those questions for me to work out for myself where I should be, where the faults in my thinking or why we should might be viewing things to be more, more effective, more helpful.
So, a lot of this stuff, you know, people are rushing around being busy. And again, it’s it’s about a lot of those implies giving away control, doesn’t it? I have to do this. Sometimes, of course we do maybe things that are in our job, we just have to be done. Family things, some of them have to be done. But a lot of them don’t allow them you know, you’re choosing to do these things right, or when you choose to do the them is the other point. My point is bring back control, bring back at least First of all, the awareness of where the control lies. And this kind of impacts this idea called locus of control that a lot of coaches and psychologists go on about. locus of control is an idea came from the 50s, where basically there’s internal and external. Your internal locus of control is when on the whole, you know, you have more control over your life, reality and direction,
then you don’t have an actual external locus of control is other things outside of you. So in some cultures is very much faced, or God or all of these more external things to us have influence on our reality. And we have less than. So it’s not to say that in the Western world, it’s increasingly you know, other people have more control. And this changes over your life.
Because if you think about it, when you’re in school, you know, you have very little choice, you have to be in school at a certain time for a certain duration, I suppose it’s the only time when a relatively free citizen has to be in a certain place of when they go to prison. It’s an interesting thought on school. But anyway, that’s, I digress. I digress.
Once again. So this internal external locus of control generally what coaches and psychologists try to get people to do is move that increasingly into the internal now it’s not to make it hyper internal. I’ll do a do another episode where talk about that a little bit more in detail because people go overboard with that. And that that’s another scenario. But for the minutes, we’ll just keep it on that, that it’s being aware of, particularly of your language, your language is how you’re encoding the world, how you’re encoding your experience, to yourself, and then to others.
It’s how you explain how you give meaning we’re meaning making machines, you know. So we have to be that little bit more aware, it’s very helpful to be a little bit more aware of the words we choose to use and how we use them. This is where busy is one of those that’s a little bit under the radar, because it doesn’t seem like it has particularly negative effect, but it does. I’m busy because I’m important. I’m important because I’m busy. If it’s in the status way, right? So if you were less busy, does that mean you’re less important?
Does that mean you’re not doing as important work or less valuable work? Every one has 24 hours and then depends on how many hours Many hours of sleep, we all have the same amount. But some people managed to get a huge amount done, because they’re very aware of not just being busy, not just being efficient with their time was being hyper effective, you know? So, again, other episodes will focus on outsourcing and delegating and all that sort of stuff. And that’s part of us.
But it’s again starts without awareness. First of all, that mindset where am I actually what am I actually thinking here? Where am I going with this? I’ll go with this first we’ll say in in working out what’s important now you know, WIN what’s important now. It’s kind of a soldier question on the battlefields. You know, when you’re dealing with, you have your mission objective down the way and then it’s constantly what’s important now and you’re dealing with what needs to be addressed.
And that’s how you move forward in a relatively effective way. In high stress situations, you have your overall, I had an episode already, where I talked about values a little bit, I will come back to values. But then when you’re working through minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, task by task conflict by conflict and challenge challenge, I should say, mind your language. This is in your mind your language thread, by the way, I come back to mind your language quite quite a few times because it’s one of those subtle things that we need to watch out for.
But yeah, so I was quite proud of myself there a few months ago. And then I did this last week as well. And it takes a lot as I said, a lot of these videos are for me to kind of learn for myself, coach myself, and hopefully some other people get a little value as well. But it’s this idea that I had this great opportunity for something that would really be a huge benefit, to me be a huge benefit to my business to my clients. And I found myself saying, Yes, but not now.
Very proud of myself, you know, I let myself have a little pride in that one. Yes, this is for me, this is awesome. It’s not just bright shiny object syndrome, this has value. You know, it’s not just the next shiny thing to distract me. It has distinct value, but not right now. It’s not part of my plan. It’s not part of my priorities to get through this.
And I’m endlessly doing iterations of the 12 week year, so that you can just put things like that into the next 12 weeks. So it’s only it’s at most 12 weeks away. Think of it like that. So you can delegate it, you can postpone it in there. And that’s the difference between things that need to be done. procrastination and scheduling you know, sorry, procrastination and being time efficient is just that it is scheduling the thing. But I digress. Lots of digressions. So yes, but not now.
And yes, but not now is actually a very handy trick. When you’re trying to use willpower for when you have an opportunity for example, when you’re on a diet they’re able to say, you can increase your chances of staying on the wagon staying true to whatever the diet or food regime you’re doing. By saying yes, but not now.
The opportunity for a big fat double cheese pizza or whatever your thing is, comes up, and you go oh my god, I’d love that. If you say never does a trigger in the back of your head that goes Oh, never we don’t like never, don’t deny don’t we don’t deny ourselves. So you can lose willpower lose that battle very quickly.
Whereas when you say yes, but not now your brain goes over just postponing. Well, that’s great next Tuesday fine. Or you know, this is why cheat days work really well and diets. I lost 22 pounds there a few years ago. Kept it all off and more precisely because of you go, oh, I’ll have that on Saturday and then on Saturday half the time you don’t feel like having it, then you don’t that’s okay.
Well, you can, it’s a different. Again, it’s the psychology of the language that using to encode the experience into your head, which is why busy is slightly dangerous busy is it’s just the first little step on a very long spectrum. But it’s on that spectrum that leading toward that victim mentality where you’re given up your control, you know, are you a victim or a survivor, you victim? Are you challenging you know, that that kind of idea?
Because busy What does it imply? We worked in some directions there just for a moment down that line of busy means I’m important means I have value to give people are demanding things of me Therefore, I must have value to give them maybe, yeah. But sometimes you just need that reflection time. What are you losing by beings busy. So one of the things I do with the clients is, is just creating that half hour a week to start with, maybe it’s an hour, then it grows to 90 minutes, we’re able to actually reflect on the practices that have been working well.
You’re able to put on your executive hat over your own work of your own business, and actually engineer your time, that bit better be more discerning what’s working well, what isn’t? How could you mold several things together? How can you discard ruthlessly things that are are less efficient and far more importantly, less effective? Because the question is, Are you busy living? Or are you living busy?
Because if you’re, you know, busy living, you’re out there, you’re getting loads of great stuff and a life. You’re hitting those values. I did an earlier episode, where I touched on values, people are hitting their values or they’re living pretty fulfilled lives, you know, people who aren’t less so. So if you’re busy doing things that aren’t hitting your values, be merciless in what you cull, you know, I have to as a as a thought.
If you were actually living on offline things that are meeting your values, absolutely brilliant, then you’re just then you’re busy living, right? But try just for a week or two, do an experiment, run a little experiment. Remove the word busy from your vocabulary instead, if someone asks you a request, say, I’m very sorry, it doesn’t fit into my plans at the moment and my schedule is chock a block. schedule is chock a block it is, you know, it’s you look at your day’s everyday schedule there.
You’re being honest, but you’re not too busy. saying it’s not in my priorities. That’s that’s an honest answer. It’s a harder, more honest answer. But Try it. Try it for a week or two. You’re not busy. It’s just not in your priorities. You have higher priorities. That’s allowed. People are allowed to have high priorities, okay, that reflect their values and where they want to go and really getting things done. All that good stuff. So busy. Try it for a few weeks busy is banned
Transcribed by https://otter.ai