“And yet he semed bisier than he was….”

It’s official.

The world is imploding under the pressure of busy-ness (no, not business, busy-ness).

You only have to google ‘too busy’ and you come up with all sorts:-  ”Are we too busy to work?”, “Too busy for sex”, “Do we work too hard?” – the list is endless.

The scary thing is that busy-ness is actually causing people to disappear.

Emails to their inboxes go unanswered, greetings and phone calls are not returned, papers are not read and commented on. Even one of my friends has disappeared. When I tried to track him down other friends confirmed it:-

“He’s really busy at the moment, they all are at the Department of Health.”

Everyone is soooooo busy.

But there’s busy-ness, and then there’s displacement activity.

Clients often come to me wanting to move their business on through ‘a marketing drive’.

Having spent money on strategic planning, a new look or a new website  they come to a grinding halt because they’re  ”too busy” to do any ongoing marketing.

They may be busy now, doing all those ‘quick’, ‘urgent’ jobs that are far less daunting, but what happens at year end when, once again they’ve missed all sorts of opportunities and left key customer groups untargeted?

We all do it – and let’s face it, it’s so much easier to deal with what’s under your nose than the difficult challenges of reaching new people, describing what you do more effectively and deciding where, exactly, certain activities are really getting you.

In the long run, taking stock and facing the difficult challenges will ensure that your business is focusing on quality, rather than quantity.

Busy-ness was even a problem in Chaucer’s time, so we’re not alone.

His description of the Seargent of the Lawe could teach us a thing or two about how we prioritise what’s really important:-

“Nowher so bisy a man as he ther nas,

And yet he semed bisier than he was.”




About Philippa

Philippa Cowley-Thwaites is a no-nonsense South Londoner with a passion for communications. Since graduating in English from London University in 1983 she has established herself as an expert communicator for a variety of brands in the private, public and voluntary sector with great success – she’s one of the best business writers in the business.

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