The Busy Badge

“I am worn out.” “I’m so busy I don’t know which way is up.” “I’m slammed.” “I can’t seem to catch up.” These are some of the phrases you hear almost every day. It’s an easy response to “How are you doing?” Kind of like, “Nice weather, isn’t it?” It doesn’t require a lot of thought nor much of a response. And it makes us feel good. It makes us feel important. We are busy and making more money than we can count. Right?

That’s what today’s subject is about – The Busy Badge. Is it a badge of honor? Does it do us more harm than good? 

On the hamster wheel of life

I don’t deny that the busy badge is real, and that it is proudly worn by many industry leaders and their associates. But is it in your best interest to be busy, possibly just for the sake of being busy? Is it just an excuse to spend time on unimportant issues and avoid the topics that could really make a difference? 

Is it really important to be busy all the time; to keep the hamster wheel rolling; to excuse yourself from other obligations, both personal and business, because you are perpetually “busy”. 

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~ Socrates

Several times I’ve asked business owners if they’d like to sit down over a cup of coffee and brainstorm a bit about their business and goals – and some told me they were just too BUSY. Wow! No time to get other points of views about their business? To think outside the box? To seek inspiration? Something is definitely wrong with this picture. The badge was ever prominent. 

The downside of the Busy Badge

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” ~ Thomas A. Edison

Being busy can actually adversely affect your productivity. You might be avoiding crucial issues by staying busy doing unimportant ones. Productivity requires a clear head. You need time to think about your goals – and then get busy on them. Sometimes when I sit down to read for a few hours I feel guilty that I’m not being productive. In the end though, I learn more about the industry, business, and technology; all of which help me be a better educator and coach. 

Busyness can come from misaligned priorities. You may be convincing yourself that “this” needs to be done, to avoid “that” getting done.

Busyness can hurt your relationships, in more ways than one. You may be too busy to return a phone call, respond to a text, reply to an email. Things that take only a minute to do, yet you’re convinced that doing them would kill your productivity. On other fronts, you may ignore your family, or your friends; working late or on weekends because you didn’t work smart. A very good cover that you are working hard in your business. 

Busyness may merely be poor time management, giving you a misplaced feeling of self importance. 

Wise time management

Time is not only of the essence, it is the essence of life. Take time to meditate and clear your head. Make time to read more, both books about your business, and those with subjects outside your industry. Use proven productivity methods such as the Pomodoro Technique, or Donald Miller’s Productivity Schedule. Read David Allen’s “Getting Things Done”, and Stephen Covey’s “The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.”

Chunk your time (Focus Like a Laser Beam). Manage your time wisely. Being busy is not really a good badge to wear. Put some of these thoughts to good use. The next time someone asks you how you’re doing, tell them, “Doing very well, thank you, and enjoying life every day.” And throw that old badge in the trash!

Thanks as always for your comments and experiences!

This article was written by Randall Soules, remodeling coach, adviser, educator, and creator of the Scientific Remodeling System, showing you better ways to advance your business, raise your profits, and improve your life, through the use of superior remodeling processes. If you would like to discover better ways to run your business, click here. He also provides his uniquely customized one-on-one coaching to a select group of contractors. Feel free to contact Randall at

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