Is busyness your small business badge of honour?


“I’m really busy, you know working long hours, getting in early, leaving late, wearing multiple hats and keeping things pretty much running around here.”

Sound familiar?

How about we remove one word here and replace it with another.

Could you replace busy with productive, and notice how the rest of the story no longer makes sense?

Or wouldn’t you feel as busy as you would like to?

Regardless of the size of a business, there’s no doubting most humans have been bitten by the busyness bug. It’s as if we can’t get enough of it, we use it as a throwaway line, in some cases as a suit of armour, and at its very worst as a badge of honour.

A little like a “look at me” moment if you will.

Whilst small businesses face different challenges when it comes to resourcing and are not as top-heavy as their big business counterparts, there are a few ways to drive successful outcomes without needing to feel like it’s time for a new busyness medal to wear proudly for all to see.

As a leadership consultant, small business owner, and at times a self-confessed “busy fool”, here are some of my lessons on how to bust busyness in small businesses.

  1. Stop being distracted by “shiny things” – one of the greatest ways to stay in the busyness world is to get distracted by the next ‘shiny thing’ that flies past your face. Staying focussed on the long-term business plan will help to alleviate the need to spend important time on unimportant tasks. If it grabs your attention but it’s not in the plan, then capture it for the next planning session.
  2. Change your mindset by changing your language – the next time someone offers you the invite to their ‘busyness party’ it would be wise to reject the invitation. You don’t have to say ‘busy’ when someone asks, “How are you?” How about saying “I’m really productive, thanks for asking”. Then notice the weird look you get! The best way to get out of the quest for more busyness badges is to change your language and at the same time your mindset. It’s lazy to fall into the world of the ‘busy fool’. Once you stop saying the ‘b’ word it will catch on for others.
  3. Be honest with yourself – This is the hardest of them all as it involves less badges to proudly display. Busyness is a choice and you need to hold up the mirror and ask yourself the following question – “Why am I choosing busyness?” You may not like the answer as it will result in less busyness badges in the process. Your choice of being a busy fool is anchored to your

“Busyness does not make you money, business does. Are you running a busyness or a business?” – Saji Ijiyemi

Have a quick look in the mirror. What’s the answer for you?

Busyness or Business?