9 February 2016
It’s 8am, and you’re about to dial into your first conference call. You have back to back meetings all day, with some double, even triple bookings. There are 50 new emails in your inbox, and you’ve got 5 voicemail messages. A colleague asks you how you’re doing, and you reply with “I haven’t even got time to stop for lunch today!” to which your colleague looks suitably impressed and walks off, under no doubt that you are very busy and therefore clearly adding lots of value to the business.
We’ve all been there, right?
In today’s working society, being busy has suddenly become the new yardstick in the workplace, the key measure of a person’s success and contribution to the business. If we don’t look very busy, we worry that people might think we’re not working hard enough. We pride ourselves on being too busy to take a vacation or relax, and taking on so much that we risk getting ill, all to prove just how hardworking we are.
Being busy is not cool, and here’s why…
You risk health and happiness. When we’re busy, we become consumed by what we’ve got to get to, and feel guilty about the things we couldn’t get to. The day passes by without you acknowledging or enjoying any part of it. There’s so much to do that we don’t sleep, eat or even go to the loo. We cancel dinner appointments, and choose to work late instead of going to the gym. Eventually, we reach that dreaded burn out phase, and have to take time off work because we’re too ill to come in.
You miss out on opportunities. If you’re busy, people think you’re not able to take anything else on, and automatically skip over you when an opportunity comes along. Once you realise this, you work even harder to prove a point, and the best case scenario is that we get upset because we can’t get to everything, and we feel like we’ve significantly underachieved.
You don’t work to your potential. It’s always great to strive for efficiency, but then there’s just plain rushing. If you have too much on, you end up sacrificing quality and you don’t prioritise effectively. You don’t have time to do things properly, and you end up producing output that doesn’t hit the mark at all.
Break the habit! Make time for the important things in life.
The good news is that we can break this cycle, and get back to focusing on the things that really matter in life, rather than worrying about how busy we are.
Make time for the things you love. Taking a vacation or time out is a good thing! Learn new skills and do the things you enjoy; play sport, read a book, or listen to that new album. Spend time with the people you love. Remember that we work to live, and need to get that work life balance right.
Live for the moment. “Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, but today is a gift. That is why it is called the present.” (Bill Keane). We can learn from the past and influence the future, but don’t dwell on it; we can only really experience the present moment for what it truly is. Focus on the here and now, and take pleasure in what you are doing at this moment in time.
Be kind to yourself. We’re great at encouraging those around us, taking time to support family, friends and colleagues. It is even more important to help ourselves; when we’re too busy it’s easy to forget what we’ve done well. Take time to reflect on your successes and achievements, and give yourself praise and recognition for these. Give yourself that well deserved pat on the back.
These are just some of the things you can try to get more out of your day, feel productive and enjoy the journey… Today, do something for you, and take pleasure in it.
Read my previous blog on Lessons in Leadership.
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I recently attended a seminar in London with over 100 Talent Managers from some of the biggest brands in the UK. During this excellent seminar we looked at Talent Management processes and explored whether we need to rethink our approach for the modern world. This session provoked me to reflect on all the performance and talent systems I have seen, designed and implemented over the years. After reflecting on this I think the answer is a resounding YES! We do need to change, but not in the way you might think. So please allow me a few minutes to explain...18 July 2016
On 23rd June 2016, UK voters decided in favour of leaving the European Union (EU) in a landmark referendum. Since then it’s fair to say that UK politics has seen a fair amount of turmoil. One thing we can be sure of is that, whenever it does happen, the UK’s withdrawal from the EU will have implications for workers and employers. In this blog I want to focus on what this could mean...11 July 2016
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I just don’t understand why organisations do not see the Living Wage, and I mean the Living Wage, NOT the government’s rebranded minimum wage (National Living Wage), as an *opportunity*. This is an opportunity to increase “engagement”, “efficiency” and to “empower” employees. Yet far too many organisations just see it as yet another cost they have to accommodate.1 February 2019
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HR professionals deal with a lot of challenges on a daily basis, but at the root of it, the primary goal is to maintain a high level employee retention and productivity. Read our top tips for improving employees’ productivity in the new year.21 December 2015
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23 SD Worx colleagues took on the Tough Mudder challenge, a truly valuable learning experience. As a leader, it's not about you. It's about inspiring and empowering everyone around you so they can to perform to their potential. Success is much greater when teamwork and collaboration is involved!26 May 2015
Interview by FDE TV at HR Tech London 2016. David Woodward, our Chief Product & Marketing Officer, speaks with Darina Ivanova from FDE about HR and Payroll technologies, workforce optimisation and what it means to be "digital" from an enterprise level perspective.4 May 2016
We were delighted to exhibit at HR Tech World 2016 in Paris. Check out our short video here to get a flavour of this successful event.1 December 2016
Our Head of Legal, Leon Daniel, has written some useful information on General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and what it might mean for your organisation. This is the first of a series of articles on the new Regulation and will cover the steps we are taking at SD Worx to ensure GDPR compliance.7 August 2017
Often once the deal is done you can’t see the lawyers for dust, so if you receive notice from a supplier or customer that they have been acquired, or if you have been acquired yourself, what do you need to do to keep your current contracts in order?3 October 2016
Having a ‘single source of truth’ provides significant benefits that will assist HR, payroll and transformation leaders and their teams, as organisations seek to emerge from this global pandemic.19 October 2020
In 2015, our customer team delivered its growth target with 80% coming from strong NPS promoters; the vast majority of these opportunities were uncompetitive. It’s pretty clear that customer success should be of paramount importance to any organisation, but how does one go about ensuring this success?28 August 2017
In Part 1 of Peter's blog, he went into detail on the importance of customer success and the value of customer relationships, growth and retention. This week, Peter talks about strengthening these relationships by community-building.
I started my week of work experience at a digital marketing agency with the intention to find out more about what working in an agency would entail, and hopefully to get insight to an option for future work. I was excited to come to work as I had never previously been in a working environment.28 July 2017
COVID-19 has a great impact on employees, with mass homeworking as one of the most remarkable outcomes. Many companies are pulling out all the stops to establish viable homeworking policies, implement digital tools and create a renewed organisational culture. What’s often overlooked is the physical workspace. Although traditional offices are on their way out, they can re-emerge as employee experience centres.17 November 2020
For businesses looking to improve their core HR and people solutions, this blog explores the digitisation of travel and expense management and how it optimises several business areas.9 March 2021