Being Busy - and Reliable

By Albina Bardhi on Jul 4, 2023

It is so easy being busy. Anyone can be busy. All you need to do to feel busy is to try to get two things done at once.
Being busy often carries a connotation of significance and value. The busier you appear, the more important you may seem to others. That is exactly why I hear it so often. It looks like a trend - "busy bragging" has become commonplace.

And I see that "busy bragging" often is a valuable tool for new employees trying to make a strong first impression, or older employees looking for promotion opportunities. After all, if you’re doing the work of two people(as one might say it is), it’s not cost-efficient to hire and train two full-timers to replace you.

What about those who are not busy? There might be different reasons for that. Some simply lack opportunity. Others have been found to be incompetent and, therefore, are not busy.
If you are one of those – give it a try being busy.
We are not talking about you today though. Let’s focus on busy employees.

I would say we have different types of busy employees:

Truly busy employees – these ones genuinely have a significant workload and effectively manage their responsibilities.

Employees with perception problems - some employees may perceive themselves as busier than they actually are. They truly believe they’re as busy as they claim to be—even if the numbers don’t agree with them. (These individuals happen to be my least favorite people on earth!)

Employees with productivity problems - these employees spend a considerable amount of time on work-related tasks that either hold minimal importance or are undervalued in terms of their significance.

Back to the first group.
Now, if you are truly busy - the thing that made you busy might have been the reputation you earned for being reliable. Reliability is built on keeping promises and consistently delivering quality work. As a result reliability builds strong relationships, fosters trust, and opens doors to new opportunities. Because you are as good as your word. It is reliability that ultimately determines sustained success. After all, if you’re choosing who to work with, wouldn’t you rather choose someone you trust than someone you don’t?
Over time, as this realization gets repeated, the reliable person becomes busy. You are busy because you’ve shown you can get stuff done. Ironically, that very busy-ness later on might destroy your reputation. It does. It destroys it. You should continue being reliable. You should say no and you should tell the truth.

So, I don’t really give you points for being busy. Because productivity has little to do with being busy. It's not about being busy, but about prioritizing effectively, working efficiently, and making a difference through meaningful work.
No points for being busy!

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