Busyness is not a virtue

Business pays, but busyness can kill your profit margins

We all know those people, no matter when you call them or what you want to see them about, they are always “so busy” or “too busy” or “trying to play catch up.” You know what else those people are doing? Everything wrong. Busyness is not a virtue, not a badge of honor … and it is no indication of success.

Sure, if your phone is ringing off the hook with people who want you to work for them, then you are definitely doing something right. And, yes, when you enjoy what you do, and you are good at it, you should be doing a lot of it. But that is not what I mean by “busy” … and it’s a cinch that those “busy” people don’t mean that either.

Many people seem to think “having something to do” or “just doing something” is an indicator of success. Let me clear that up: a full calendar is not the first step toward success. See, it’s not the quantity of time spent on something, it’s the quality of time spend on the RIGHT things.

Busyness could be nothing more than a life of constant interruptions. Emails, phone calls, texts and beeps and all the buzzing distractions of life in the modern age. That is not productivity. That is actually the opposite of productivity.

Why is that? Simple, because “multitasking” is actually detrimental to your success in ALL the things you are trying to do. No matter what you think, it has been proven, time and again, being able to focus on one thing at a time delivers a better result – for you and the project. Trying to keep up with everything is, in itself, a distraction. You start one thing and, ten interruptions later, you are still working ALL of those things and nothing is finished. Plus, multitasking increases your chances of making a mistake or, worse, missing something important. Don’t be that person.

Microsoft studied the question and learned on average, a person loses 15 minutes each time he or she is interrupted … not time spent working on the other job … no, the time lost is spent working on getting back to work or not doing anything at all.

Researchers at Vanderbilt University also studied the question. They proved that all our assumptions about the multitasking capability of the human brain are, in a word, wrong. To focus effectively on the task at hand, you must effectively focus on THAT task. Finish it, then move on to something else. Or you can continue to believe the myth and lose time and money. The choice is yours.

Roman Temkin is an entrepreneur and businessman from NYC.


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