When going to a networking event, water cooler talk, or catching up with a friend, it is a very common question to ask “How was your day at work today?” Commonly, we answer back “Oh, I was super busy!” Personally, I have always thought it was interesting that people answered that they were busy.
In my experience, if you were not busy working on something, why would you be employed there? Employers typically don’t hire people to have their feet on their desk or play Facebook games all day. If you are employed, I expect you to be busy, which is why I typical ask “What were you busy doing?” The answer I got… “Welllll…you know…stuff.”
Personally, when I am ‘busy’, I remember what I have been working on. At the very least, I can take out my to-do list and show you what has been working on.
Is telling someone you are busy the correct thing to say? Is ‘being busy’ a way of showing people your worth to a company? Is it a sense of pride to be busy? If that is the case, shouldn’t we be altering our answers?
What if you were to say “I have the Rothschild proposal progressing, got a new office manager hired, and made a huge breakthrough with a client”?
Being busy means that your plate is full but it doesn’t mean that you are productive. You could be working on a number of things, but maybe you are not prioritizing your efforts properly. You may be busy but you are fighting fires because a vision is not in place and an end goal is not there to be achieved.
Being busy is great….but what about being productive? Isn’t that the true badge of honour that every person should strive for at work? I believe that anyone can be busy, but not everyone can be productive.
How productive have you been during the last week?
Have an awesome week.
Kevin MacDonald is the CEO of L6S Business Consulting Inc. L6S offers services in management consulting, Controller and CFO contracting, and lean management with either project work or teaching/mentoring of staff. Kevin holds his CMA accounting designation along with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma.
Kevin is active in the community by volunteering for different groups, his condo board and donates platelets at the Canadian Blood Services clinics on a bi-weekly basis.