Wednesday, May 27, 2009


It’s now common place to hear people complain daily that “I’m very busy”. I theefore decided to take an in-depth look at this phenomenon, and ascertain whether it’s true that some folks are really busy and occupied, while others just merely observe time as it fleets never to return.I decided to look at my life (not in a narcissistic sense) over the years, and I basically discovered I haven’t actually gotten busier over the years. It’s just that some sort of displacement reaction has taken place.

My point is I’ve been pretty occupied over the years (high school, university, youth service and now work/volunteering/development consulting) and it’s just my priorities that have changed in sync with the demands of each stage of my life. I would hypothetically state that this is probably true for many people (perhaps everybody). If you ask me, I’d gladly tell you that the home-maker (21st century term for house-wife) who stays at home watching AfricaMagic has also got her hands full, and has the right to say she’s busy. In case you’re asking why?? I’d love to inform you that it takes work, i.e. a great degree of concentration to follow storylines for hours upon hours. Whether this sort of work adds value is another discussion entirely. (I’m not in any way endorsing compulsive habits that lead us nowhere!)

You see, there are demands placed upon us at every stage of our lives. There are activities that ought to be more strategic per season. We must not misplace activity for productivity, and we must be careful about equating the quantity of effort with the enormity of results. Our focus today is on the word busy and let’s not forget this has little to do with that heavy word called relevance. As some say, busyness doesn’t imply business!

I believe the most important thing for every one of us is to locate ourselves constantly (using some mental GPS positioning device) and recognize the activities that deserve allocation from our limited reserve of 24 hrs daily. In simple words, we ought to allocate time to the more noble, and more rewarding competing ends (whatever that means to you!). One man is very passionate about his career and therefore works very late on a daily basis, while another one places high priority on his family by refusing to take his laptop home. Yet another considers his ministry top priority, and gallivants around the globe ministering to the needs of others while neglecting some of the basic needs of his family. The amusing fact is that each man possibly has sufficient proof to justify his formula for allocating his time.

However, I would suggest that the keyword is balance. There’s something I learnt in high-school economics, called scale-of-preference. We must continually strive to maintain a balance between the numerous competing ends in our lives. This balancing act must be based on an ideology, or an established system of values. If you ask me, I’d gladly tell you that the WORD-of-GOD ought to be our compass at all times. (I’m a Christian, and would gladly tell you that only the Spirit of God can help a man attain the designation of a certified time resource-allocator, but that man must be willing to follow His lead).

I would recommend that we allocate more time to tasks that add more value, and less time to those tasks that are less important. Value is another subject that I would not delve into in this exposition, but judging the value-potential, or value-content of an activity in my opinion is a function of its persistence-attribute. In simple terms, are the rewards of such activity temporal, long-term, or eternal? (another quick one – I’d rather allocate more time to my primary area of calling, than to those things I’m just not gifted for!......even though I’m convinced I’ll be better than Roger Federer someday!)

Next time you say to yourself, I’m very busy, that could well be the perfect time to reassess, revalidate, reconfigure and re-scrutinize the tasks you’ve been dwelling on (just to be sure they are the right tasks, whatever right means to you!)

Here’s another one for us to watch out for – it’s called Temporal Intelligence (TI – measures our ability to master time and extract maximum value from time by applying ourselves optimally in the time dimension). TIME MASTERY by John Clemens & Scott Dalrymple highly recommended!

It’s an addition to the intelligence family (IQ – Intelligence Quotient, EQ – Emotional Intelligence, SI – Social Intelligence, EI – Ecological Intelligence)

Cheers to all busy folks out there!