Americans seem to think the busier the better. They wear the badge of busy like it’s some type of high honor. The “I’m so tired” and “I’m so busy” are their go to responses to practically everything.
Want to go for a walk? No, I’m so tired.
Want to meet up for coffee? No, I’m so busy.
Want to actually get a full 8 hours of sleep? Can’t, I’m too busy.
When I watch House Hunters International, American ex-pats always comment about the improved work life balance in foreign countries. Why do American continue running in circles saying “I’m so tired” and “I’m so busy?” What happens when we actually live the too tired and too busy life?
- We work more than needed. That’s right. Americans put in more hours in the office than needed. I work with some highly intelligent yet unbelievably inefficient people. Being inefficient causes salaried employees to have a decreased average hourly rate. If you work a standard 40 hour work week for $4,000, that means you get paid $100 per hour. But if you work 50 hours for the same $4,000, you are only getting paid $80 per hour.
- We do non-value added work. Yep. We do meaningless work just to fill the time. Have you ever stopped to think if someone actually needs the stuff you are doing at work. Often times people needed something at one point but no longer need it and never tell you to stop doing. One personal example, I thought I needed to make the bed every day. Mr. BMM does not care if the bed is made or not. He simply wants a place to sleep.
- We think busy is cool. Oh yeah. Saying that you are busy translates to “I have no idea why I keep saying yes to stuff I don’t want to say yes to. ” Think about it. Do you really want to go to your second cousin’s nephew’s fiance’s bridal shower or would you rather spend the day hiking with your family. Each time you say yes to something you are saying no to something else.
What can you do differently? Catch yourself each time you say you are too busy or too tired. Make a mental note. Explore if the too busy or too tired is simply a default response. Determine if you can respond differently.
The BMM Challenge: Identify 3 things that you can remove from your personal to do list this week. Find three things that you could simply do without. Skip vacuuming. Skip that after work meet up. Skip something. Please do no skip using deodorant, brushing your teeth, or taking a regular shower. Those three things are simply not optional.