The saying goes “If you need something done, ask a busy person.” I have found this so true time and time again. And guess what? I’m often that busy person who gets asked. From minimal requests of “Can you take care of this?” to “Do you want to be fully responsible for this intense volunteer position?” I find myself first thinking “No way!” to ultimately saying “You know, that seems doable…even easy.” So in this blog post, I wanted explore why is this true for so many of us “busy people.” Why do we seem to be able to do it all and have time left over? Keep reading to learn my thoughts on this theory.
We have a process.
Busy people, who are efficient and not just living in chaos, usually have a pretty refined process that they follow. They are acutely aware of everything that needs to get done in a day, in a week, and in a month to keep all tasks moving on time. It’s not a guessing game. There is a model, a template, and even an assessment that comes with every project. Whether the task is technical, creative, professional, or volunteer, it’s treated with the same methodology. Personally speaking, I am just as serious about a large client project that includes high-profile leaders overlooking my work as I am with creating my grocery list for the week. It sounds funny, even to me, putting that into words, but it’s true. It’s not overbearing, or even obsessive, it’s simply a proven method I follow that creates efficiency and accuracy in my work in the quickest time possible. Any “busy person” will have their own unique process that is customized to how they’re wired and allows them maximum efficiency in all that they do.
We know we can’t let it slide.
Busy people’s schedules can’t afford procrastination. This only leads to massive build-up that becomes insurmountable within a few days. I’ve written previously about how I manage my bandwidth and that’s by zeroing out tasks (as much as possible) every single day. My inbox right now has just 3 emails and that’s because they are tasks I have on my to-do list. And if a new email comes in? It’s read within the hour and responded to before the end of the day. Even if I don’t have the answer or the work is not complete, the person will hear back from me with a status update as such. Busy people are ninja taskmasters. We’re ready to attack anything that comes our way because it’s what stands between us feeling “done” for the day – which is a precious, precious thing.
We are always in “get it done” mode.
I referenced being a ninja task-master above, and it’s the best description of how busy people function. We’re almost always in gear ready to attack a task set before us. Even on weekends, vacations, or holidays, we thrive on the feeling of seeing a challenge and accomplishing it. Running kids to sporting events? Prepping meals for the family? Coordinating housework? Even personal responsibilities are approached with the same mentality of “I want to have this done so I can move on with my day, and move on to relaxation.”
We thrive on things coming to completion.
And those “busy people” love the feeling of meeting a deadline and checking the box on a task. If it’s an open item on our agenda, it’s something hanging over our heads that doesn’t allow us full mental clarity until it’s completed. For me, boxes that are not checked and items that are not complete are like little alarms going off in my head reminding me that I need to be thinking about them. As items fall off my to-do list and onto my “done” list, that alarm quits sounding and soon I have peace to dig into new projects. For those of us wired this way, rest assured that when you give us a task, and it sets off an alarm, that we will do what needs to be done to bring back the peace and mental clarity.
Whether you are the busy person or the person requesting the help of one, I hope this brings insight into how – even with the same number of hours in a day – it can feel like some of us are able to do it all without breaking a sweat. The important truth to remember is that no one can really do it all, and even busy people have breaking points. Everyone’s threshold for chaos is different. What’s amazing is we all bring unique talents to the table, and through collaboration, we do amazing things every day.
Do you identify as a busy person? If you enjoy having a lot on your plate, but also getting a lot done in a day, leave a comment sharing some of your own secrets to wearing so many hats. We’d love to learn from what you know!