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Busy doing nothing

Busy doing nothing, working the whole day through Busy doing nothing the opening line from this 1940s Bing Crosby song probably has more resonance now than it did then. So why has ‘busyness’ become a fact of many of our lives and what can we do about it?  We have all seen them, some of us may even be one of them. The colleague whose workspace is a flurry of frenetic activity. The wild typing and rushed phone calls. The frantic gathering together of papers. The dashing from office to office, meeting to meeting. The lunch eaten on the move. Yes we have all met the ‘very busy’ person. Lin Yutang once said that the busy man is never wise and the wise man is never busy, and today’s environment can definitely put immense pressure on us to become busy rather than wise people. And very often busy rather than productive people. Busyness can be counterproductive in a number of ways. By being ‘very busy’ we are often, consciously or subconsciously, allowing ourselves to be distracted away from more important work, from tasks that we have been putting off. We are ‘busy doing nothing’ and, as Peter F. Drucker very aptly said: “There is nothing quite so useless, as doing with great efficiency, something that should not be done at all.” Secondly and probably more importantly, we are busy because we are not working smartly and we are not managing our time productively. Despite appearances, ‘busy’ people are rarely high achievers while those who can manage their time and prioritize their tasks more effectively, are ultimately more lightly to...