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Overcoming your Busy-ness Addiction

[fa icon="calendar"] 8/4/22 9:53 AM / by Deb Cullerton


Person A: How’s it going?

Person B: I’m insanely busy.

Person A: Yeah, me too. I’m scheduling into next year already.

Person B: I get it. I haven’t taken a real unplugged vacation since before Covid.

Person A:  I hear you.  I'm not sure how much longer I can keep this up.

Person B:  I know.  I'm considering leaving.  I'm so burnt out.



And just like that, we are falling back into the patterns of pre-pandemic workplace and homelife imbalance.   Our hybrid office culture has brought with it a pace and volume of both communications and information that would overload anyone.  Financial upheaval, supply chain issues, talent shortages and overtaxed healthcare systems have workplaces feeling more overwhelmed than ever.  So, we respond by trying to simply catch it. How do we catch it?



    • We schedule days so packed with meetings, calls, emails and texts, that 85% of our days are spent before we even get to our desk in the morning. 
    • We literally begin the day knowing that we'll get about an hour to actually make any kind of progress and if there's any kind of crisis or emergency, we can kiss that plan  goodbye.
    • We practically sleep with our phones in hand. 
    • We multitask so hard that we barely focus on anything individually anymore.
    • We work longer and faster and try to fill in every gap with a glance at email or chat.
    • We give up vacations in the fear that the workload will finally overwhelm us if we dare to take time off.
    • We set aside and procrastinate anything that might be a time-suck, like relationship building, creativity, process improvement and project work.
    • We forfeit being truly present, while we stay constantly connected.

A frustrated businessman resting his head on a keyboard and shouting with his hair on smoke, catching fire

The result is a life of complete busy-ness, both at work and at home.  Tony Crabbe, in his book "Busy", speaks to the issue when he says, "Busy is a terrible brand."  Yet it's the most common response heard in elevators and in zoom calls everywhere.  Not just busy either.  We're "crazy busy"!  For many of us, our self-worth is tied to our level of busy-ness and we’re not able to easily give that up.


The answers are not simple.  They will require us to develop better process, better tools and a willingness to release a personal brand that feels comfortable and familiar.  We'll need to consider more of a “systems” approach to work and we'll need to start saying "no" or at least "not now" to the many things that don't fit and don't add value to a more priority driven day.  And even when that's all done, we will feel the nag of our addiction.  We will feel guilty for sitting or thinking or playing or deepening a relationship.  The struggle is real.  Keep fighting my friends and we'll be here to support you along the way.  All the tips and tricks in the world won't have the impact of making some true changes in what you consider and treat as a priority in your life. 


 We can help you to overcome the obstacles and challenges of Busy-ness Addiction. Click below to schedule an Executive Overview with us to assess your needs. 

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Topics: Productivity for All

Deb Cullerton

Written by Deb Cullerton

Managing Partner at PMA and passionate about developing leaders