Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Business vs Busyness

We live in a culture where it is cool to be busy.  Just ask someone how things are going and they will tell you how busy they are.  Some people choose to fill their lives with busyness to make money.  Others do it to keep their minds off of what's bothering them.  Still others stay busy because they can't say no.  While others stay busy because they like what they are doing.  Some are busy because they simply have too many responsibilities.  Whatever the reason, it's cool to be busy.

The problem with busyness is that it can keep you from taking care of business.  Your schedule may be so full with pressing issues that you don't have time to plan for the future.

Stephen Covey calls this an Urgency Addiction. 
In his book First Things First, Covey says that everything falls into one of 4 categories or quadrants.
1.  Urgent & Important
2.  Not Urgent & Important
3.  Urgent & Not Important
4.  Not Urgent & Not Important

In what 2 categories do you spend most of your time?  I must confess that I spend most of my time in quadrants 1 and 3 doing Urgent things. 

Covey suggests that the most successful people spend most of their time in Quadrant 2 planning, preventing, preparing, and developing relationships.  Urgent things still come up but because these people are prepared it never seems overwhelming.   

If we know the things in quadrant 3 and 4 are not important then why do we even do them?  Why not focus our attention on the important stuff?  (Check out First Things First from your local library to see what Covey says.)

If we know that the most successful people spend most of their time in Quadrant 2 then why don't we do more planning, preparing, preventing, and developing relationships?  Let me guess...Because you're too busy.

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