When ever someone says “I’m too busy” I’m always reminded of a story I heard about from a Volleyball coach I look up to. In grade 11 leading into grade 12 I wanted to get better at Volleyball. I told my coach I wanted to play pepper (simple volleyball drill) more and he offered to come in the morning twice a week to play pepper at 7:30 in the morning. We did this for a couple months and I really think it helped my Volleyball skill in the long run. But more importantly, he was willing to volunteer MORE of his time to make me better. That’s dedication.
I started coaching Volleyball 8 years ago. I’ve always wanted to be an amazing coach, I’m slowly working on it. That coach of mine in highschool is now coaching at Campball and has put a team in the city finals almost every year he’s coached. He has remarkable success. He’s an amazing coach, something innate right? Some talent he possessed. Wrong.
One tournament a couple years ago we were talking and he told me about how the last few years he’d been coaching his sons elementary school team as well as coaching his highschool boys Volleyball team. This amazing coach who I thought possessed a secret no one else had or could get just worked harder than every other coach. What an inspiration.
Ever since he coached me in highschool (and probably earlier) he just volunteered more of his time trying to help make his athletes better. So the lesson to me was, coach more. All you have to do is be willing to work hard at it, to do more than you ever thought possible, to go over and above everyone else in your industry (or school system).
Life lesson: You’re never the busiest person in the world so stop complaining about being busy. If you are really, really busy it’s probably on purpose for a greater goal (and that is awesome).
1. You aren’t too busy, you’re just terrible at managing your time
As the old saying goes, “if you want to get something done, give it to a busy person”. It’s true, busy people get more done, and not in a bad way. If you’re too busy that you’re getting stressed out that’s not healthy at all, you need to stop something. But for some people being busy is a good thing, it helps them, it trains the mind to focus on getting things done.
Over and over since elementary school there were opportunities to go the extra mile in some extra curricular aspect of your life. The people that took advantage of that learned to balance their time better. The more going on in your life the more deliberate you need to be with your schedule and your time. It teaches you to prioritize your time, all the most successful people out there figured out early on how to prioritize their time in the most efficient manner possible.
In presentations I usually tell the story of Tim Sanders talking about Mark Cuban when they worked together at Broadcast.com in the early 90’s. Sanders said that Cuban was reading and finishing a book every other day. Every other day?!? An entire book?!? That’s what sacrifice is. That’s being too busy on purpose. Mark Cuban wanted to be a leader in every industry he was going to be in, so why not read as much as you can about every industry possible.
2. Parkinson’s Law
Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
Whatever time constraint you put on yourself, you will take that long to complete what you set out to do. Set shorter deadlines, set unrealistic milestones, you’ll be surprised what your team can accomplish.
Everyone can accomplish much more in a couple hours than they ever thought was humanly possible, the problem is no one ever told them to try. Unless you were starting a business or volunteering at a non-profit, you won’t understand how to get a days worth work done in two hours.
In Gay Hendricks “The Big Leap” he talks about “Einstein time”. The fact that time is relative and that you can control is sounds a little far fetched, but that exactly what the author was talking about. Not bending time to your will, no, getting an incredible amount of work done in a short period of time.
Remember university and cramming for tests? You took two months of work and in a night you power through all of it and remember enough to squeak out a 75% on the test. How did you do it? Einstein time. You did what you previously thought was “impossible” but as you know, things that we think are impossible are usually far from it.
Life lesson: practice doing more in less time, over and over.
3. All the best people are super busy and you should be too
I always like thinking about the people I look up to. The Jeff Bezos, Richard Branson, Mark Zuckerberg, Larry Pages of the world. They don’t have any more time in a day than you and I but what they do with their time is very deliberate.
Life lesson: do things that matter. Life’s to short not to work on something amazing.
If you want to learn how to structure your day and time better try Tim Ferriss’ The 4-Hour Work Week it’s an entertaining read and it’ll teach you a lot about being more efficient in your life.