“You make time for what you want to make time for, both in personal and professional lives..”
This was my final thought in the #SAChat discussion about “The Glorification of Busy.”
There were many interesting perspectives including business relative to your commitment to the field, the judgment that comes from appearing not to be busy, and the association that is made between being busy and being successful or not, just to name a few. All great!
My perspective: What if we’re not really all that busy? What if we really just prioritize more time for the things that we care most about? I believe that is what really happens. Busy is socially constructed, especially in our field. I also tweeted during the chat, “it’s sort of ingrained. Even in grad school there’s glorification of busy…i.e. you’ll work way more than 40 hours a week.”
I lost count of how many times I heard that. Granted, there are busy seasons in our field, especially for areas like admissions and advising, but seasons change and sometimes, there is down time. How else do we make room for #SAChat or our mid-day Facebook statuses?
Think of your personal life. Things most important get the most attention and everything else is sort of put on this “if I feel like it” sliding scale. This can range from simple things like household tasks, spending time with family and friends, to exercising, running errands, and handling finances. Nothing is exempt!
So, how do we stop the glorification of busy? While I’m sure there are a tons of ways to prevent this, here are three ways to do so that I believe can be helpful.
1. Be honest. Now, I’m not saying report every single time you have a free moment, but let’s work to stop the constant “busy” spiel. In conversation, if someone asks how you are, practice not giving “busy” as an answer. Start with a day, and then try a week. If this is really difficult to do, that could be a sign….
2. Be organized. One strategy I use when I come into work every morning is writing down the things that I want to get done that day, in addition to meetings and appointments with students. I have 8 hours (minus the meeting times) to get these tasks done. Let me just say, it’s a great feeling at the end of the day to have those items crossed off! It keeps the overwhelmed feeling away, reminds me that I have 8 hours a day, and to work smarter not harder. The next day, I come in and repeat the process. This helps to keep on track with meeting project deadlines, processing paperwork, and responding to emails. When the day is over, I leave. (Don’t feel bad for leaving at 5!) I also keep a very well organized calendar. 😉
3. Lastly, plan accordingly. As the saying goes, “proper planning prevents poor performance.” I mentioned before that there are busy seasons. In meetings with team members, develop a strategy to handle the work to come. Not just the traditional “you take this” and “you take that,” but develop a way to work TOGETHER to complete the task. Doing so can help in preventing team members from becoming overwhelmed, frustrated, and back at “I’m so busy.”
Let’s continue to practice this together. Who’s with me?!