3. The “busyness” addiction (a mindset):
A drive to succeed and a compulsion to get more done,
which ironically, is counterproductive because there is
always more to do.
People become addicted to feelings of exhilaration and
importance at having completed many tasks (being
busy), but such feelings are illusory because the to-do
list never ends.
In the name of “being busy,” addicts sacrifice time with
families and colleagues; and their own physical, spiritual,
and mental health suffers.
5. Are you…
Always challenged to see how many tasks you can complete in the shortest
amount of time?
Failing to slow down?
So focused on tasks and being “busy” that you lose touch with your
surroundings? Your relationships? Yourself?
Consumed by escalating demands—Feeling like you could always do more
professional reading, more professional writing, more observations, more
communication, more, more, more?
Avoiding times of quiet and solitude?
Anxious and uncomfortable in those moments when you do find yourself
with nothing to do?
Failing to be present in the moment?
Feeling guilty about saying “no” or “doing nothing”?
7. A feeling of indifference or numbing of feelings
Lack of enjoyment
Frustration at the inability to keep the pace of
the ever-growing to-do list
Disconnection from people we care about
Ineffective use of time due to feelings of being
overwhelmed—uncertain where to start
Fragmentation—lack of cohesion in our day-day
lives and work
9. Urgent Non-urgent
Quadrant 1 Quadrant 2
When your direction is clear, Quadrant of Necessity Quadrant of Quality and
managing your time and Personal Leadership
resources to achieve your Examples: Deadline-
goals becomes easier. driven projects, crises, Examples: problem
resolution of immediate prevention, relationship
Consider creating the matrix problems building, professional
to the right and organizing growth and
the tasks that occupy your leadership-life fit
time according to their
urgency and importance
Quadrant 3 Quadrant 4
Strive to structure a Quadrant of Quadrant of Escape
schedule that supports you Examples: trivia,
in spending the bulk of your Examples: Interruptions, busywork, Internet
time in quadrant 2 certain phone surfing, private calls
orts, certain pressing
10. Just Say NO!
“Thanks for asking, but no, I simply can’t.”
“I appreciate that you asked, but no, I am unable
to at this time.”
“I’m sorry, no.”
All the mistakes I ever made in my life were when I
wanted to say No, and said Yes.
11. Do one thing at a time.
Try it just for today! If you are a multi-tasker, you
will need practice to change your behavior! Start
with small steps—one day.
Be present in every moment. Focus solely on the
person with whom you engage in conversation.
Drive without using your Bluetooth (or any
device). Watch t.v. without reading, writing, or
engaging in some other task. Be present!
13. Question your beliefs. Write down all your
beliefs about relaxation, work, multi-
tasking, busyness, etc. and question
them. What mental models are keeping you
consumed by “busyness”?
14. Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening
to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.
~Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne
15. Schedule down time.
Honor your commitments to yourself. If you
commit to leaving work at 5:30, do it. This means
leaving the work, too! No cheating!
Make a date with a significant other or good
Unplug. Power down.
*Strategies adapted from Are You Addicted To Busyness? By Carlene Ashby: