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Crazy busy? Remember You Have A Choice

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time-wastingAhhh…the memories of working for corporate companies!

Tick-tock, tick-tock, tick-tock…

Right. No time for hanging around today.

Lots to do, so let’s get organized.

First things first.

Make a list.

Now where’s my note pad. I know I left it here somewhere.

Isn’t it amazing how things just disappear around here?

I can’t find it. This little scrap of paper will do.

Right, my list.

Number 1.

I must do that costing for Jenny.

Number 2.

Call John about the sales meeting.

Number 3.

Chase up Bill to see if he has that information I asked for.

The phone rings.

Who’s that now?

“Andrew, It’s Jenny. Have you started that costing?”

“It’s on the top of my work list” I reply.

“I need it by tomorrow morning”

“I thought the deadline was next Tuesday”


“Well I am sure that’s what you told me”

“Well I need it for tomorrow morning”

“No matter”, sighing, “I have all the figures in my head. Bye Jenny”

You put the phone down. You let out an even a bigger sigh.

Now where was I?

Oh yes, the to-do list.

Number 3.

Chase up Bill to see if he has that information I asked for.

Number 4.

Ring the Customer Services department – something about complaints! What was it? Oh never mind it will come back to me.

Jim appears, next to my desk.

“You coming to this departmental meeting, then?

“Oh no, it completely slipped my mind”

“Where’ the agenda? Do you have one, Jim?”


“Oh, let me copy it on the way – thanks”

Quick slurp of the cold coffee.

“I hope it’s a quick meeting – I have so much to do”

3 hours later.

“What a waste of time that was”

“Why did you take on all those action points, don’t you have enough to do already?” Jim asks.

“Well if I don’t do them, who will?”

“I can help. I have some capacity”, says Jim

“Thanks for the offer but by the time I have explained to you what to do, I would have completed them myself. Anyway I must get on, see you later”


Quick look at the emails.

I don’t believe it. Twenty new ones to read and deal with.

I haven’t even started the things on my list.

Where is the list, anyway?

Work, work, work.

It’s now 19.10.

The phone rings.

“Oh, hi darling. Just about to leave now and catch the 19.30 train. Bye, bye, got to go. Bye. Love you”

Put some papers in the briefcase – I could read them on the train.

Turn off the pc.

You are walking out the door.

Your desk phones rings.

You look back.

Do you answer it?

Do you ignore it?

It could be your wife.

You decide to answer it.

It’s Nick from the warehouse.

“Hi Andrew. How was your holiday?”

“Good thanks. Feels like I’ve never had one. How can I help?”

“Can you resend me those warehouse space figures you sent me a couple of days ago?”

“What now?”

“Yeah, if you could, Peter the big chief requires them and you would be a star”


You turn on the pc.

You can’t find the email…you miss the train…

This happened to me on numerous occasions while working for someone else.

Any of this sound familiar?

Have you experienced similar situations?

What do you do to get things done?

Please share your views in the comments below.

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16 Responses to Crazy busy? Remember You Have A Choice

  1. Tim March 4, 2011 at 4:46 pm #

    Sometimes you’ve got to ignore stuffs and damn the consequences. For me, sometimes I’ve got my time schedule and would not allow any thing whatsoever to tamper with it.

    Sometimes I follow your sequence and discover at the end of the day that I’d done NOTHING! So…

    When I really need to get stuffs done, I move away from people and face my WORK…Kicking my butt sometimes help though!

    • Andrew March 5, 2011 at 6:54 am #


      Distractions is the biggest time ‘sucker’. If we can minimize those we would all get more done!


  2. Kathy March 4, 2011 at 5:56 pm #

    Andrew you crack me up. This day sounds so familiar. My days in an office were so similar. I would have to pencil in ‘go to the bathroom’ or there was never enough time. And still, it seemed nothing got done.

    I work from home now, and sadly my days don’t feel much more productive. No co-workers stopping by my office, but I do have two dogs, one a 5 month old puppy. Now it’s the pooches reminding me that THEY have to go to the bathroom.

    I think we may need to work in a bubble to be truly productive.

    • Andrew March 5, 2011 at 6:55 am #


      …but those puppy distractions are better than having to go to some boring meeting – yes?


  3. Lyka Ricks March 5, 2011 at 4:56 am #

    That’s the Real Scenario of a Busy Day.. When i got from travel, paper works piled up and numerous to do list. You can’t update your tasks and worst you will still making up with the backlogs. Things initially are going crazy but eventually if you have the mindset and stay calm. Everything will be done, everything will be on place. The more you rush on things, the more you panic, things aren’t getting better. You might be making mistakes then.

    • Andrew March 5, 2011 at 6:57 am #


      I remember the days when I had so much to do…I just didn’t know where to start and it often took me an hour to get started.

      Rather than just start on something I would dither and procrastinate!


  4. Beat Schindler March 5, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    Your description of a normal day in the life of most of us is spot on. I recognize not only my old corporate self, but also my earlier entrepreneur days :-] We know what to do, then end up not doing it. Which confirms it’s not what we don’t know, but what we do know that just isn’t so, that harms us most. How to break free? There is a secret – in the sense of life changing for who stumbles across it. You’re pointing it out – “Distractions is the biggest time ‘sucker’”. It’s all in my upcoming book “Leap Of Action” … which I finished writing because I defeated distractions, finally :-]

    • Andrew March 6, 2011 at 10:14 am #


      Sounds like a book that all of us could do with – no matter how well we think we deal with distractions.


  5. Corinne Edwards March 5, 2011 at 11:02 pm #

    Dear Andrew –

    A familiar scenario for most of us who have worked in a corporate environment.

    Working from home has a huge advantage.

    It is CALLER ID.

    My way of dealing is to label the tasks A to D.

    The A’s have to get done. Or at least put a dent in.

    Our temptation is to get the easy stuff done first and out of the way.

    Most of them are D’s.

    If you get to the D’s – which is rare – most of them have gone away. Or someone else has done them.

    • Andrew March 6, 2011 at 10:18 am #


      I totally understand what you are saying. Deal with the priorities first! Problem is sometimes…the priorities include ‘stuff’ we just don’t want to do.


  6. Dennis Edell March 5, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    OK then, what do you do when you realize you just had that day…at HOME.

    • Andrew March 6, 2011 at 10:15 am #


      Make sure you don’t have the same day…tomorrow!


      • Dennis Edell March 7, 2011 at 1:33 pm #

        Drop by for a week, I dare ya! 😉

        • Andrew March 7, 2011 at 4:57 pm #


          Love to!

          When I worked in the corporate world whenever one of my staff needed help with their time management…I used to ‘shadow’ them. And ask awkward questions…’why you doing that?’…in a nice way of course.

          I used to be able to vastly improve their productivity.


  7. Pete March 8, 2011 at 10:59 am #

    Hi Andrew,

    I can’t say I have – thankfully. I guess I’m lucky. : )


    • Andrew March 9, 2011 at 2:51 pm #


      You MUST be in the minority. What are your secrets?


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