Click here for Tony Mayo's podcastBeing busy is no badge of honor. Choose a better way to be.

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Thanks to MusicOpen for providing public domain recordings of Beethoven.


Hello. I’m Tony Mayo, the Business Owner’s Executive Coach … with one quick idea you can use in your business today.

There’s a phrase becoming more and more common that I’m starting to take as an insult. When -exactly- did it become a compliment to say to someone, “I know you’re busy.” How do I look busy? Do I seem harried, overwhelmed, am I dropping the ball? Am I not fulfilling on my promises and commitments? Do you think I’m incompetent, unable to do my job, or cope with my life? What makes you assume I am too busy to talk with you?

I know. It’s assumed because of the culture we live in. We’ve gotten to the point where seeming to be over-committed has –somehow– become evidence of a person’s importance. Yet, it wasn’t that long ago —in my lifetime— that time freedom was evidence of success. The successful were relaxed enough to take on new projects, to be creative, to have really good conversations. And, it could be that way again. Hey, it was like that for hundreds of years.

Let’s start making a change, because, busy is for the bees, not for effective executives. Don’t say you’re having a busy day. Say you are “fully engaged” or “I always have time for a good conversation or a fun idea.”

Early in my career, a very effective executive told me, “When I see an employee staying late now and then, I assume he’s dedicated. If he stays late day after day, I know he can’t handle his job.”

Is that the message you want to send by crowing about how busy and over-committed you are, that you can’t handle your job? That’s not who you want to be. You want to be relaxed. You want to have the freedom to choose your next activity, to know you’re focused on the things that really matter. You can rest, you can create, you can consult, you can spend time with people, and when someone comes to you with a request, you don’t have to prove to them you’re too busy to listen. You can prove to them that you’re competent and successful by carefully considering what they have to say.

I don’t want to be busy. I have plenty of options and I choose my tasks mindfully. I strive to be fully engaged and well-rested, highly productive and flexible, with time to think, play, and listen to new ideas…”
Busy is not a success. Busy is a symptom. …

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