August 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm #139647
Generally, I’d like to be perceived as being relatively cool and collected in the office – even when the pressure mounts and deadlines loom, I don’t want to appear overwhelmed.
So much for that!
Over the last couple weeks, I’ve been saying some variation of the phrase “I’m way too busy” A LOT – complete with Gmail and Facebook status updates that let the world know I’m drowning.
But whenever I say it, I’m thinking in the back of my mind: “But everyone’s busy. We all have way too much stuff going on. Just suck it up and get back to getting ‘er done.”
And I wonder if that’s what’s going in other people’s minds, too: “Shut up, dude. Stop complaining. We’re all busy. Work it out.”
So I’m gonna find out what you, the crowd, thinks:
Is it uncool to say “I’m soooo busy”?
If you think so, I’ll never say it again…now let me get back to my 950 things to do.
August 26, 2011 at 1:44 pm #139669
August 26, 2011 at 1:53 pm #139667
August 26, 2011 at 2:22 pm #139665
You are right, we are all always busy. But it is human to get to a point where you are overwhelmed and you voice it outloud. Its the ability to navigate these multiple projects with varying levels of priority and deadlines that keeps life as a public servant entertaining, enthralling and enjoyable. Honestly, its true when someone asks me whats going on or how am I doing that I respond with a “I’m good, crazy busy, but good.” But we are all busy to some extent so complaining about being up to your eyeballs in projects and work is forgivable only in small doses IMO.
Being busy is also a great way to maintain job security too.
August 26, 2011 at 2:53 pm #139663
One thing I was thinking about was that you actually do need to let out some of the steam now and then. I suppose a person needs to pick and choose where/how they do so…but it’s healthy to “vent” within appropriate boundaries.
August 26, 2011 at 3:05 pm #139661
Aaron E. SilversParticipant
I’m bored with “no.” “Yes, and…” is the future. 🙂
August 26, 2011 at 8:58 pm #139659
I think it’s good customer service to say “I’m too busy. Can I get back to you in x time?” Because they the service requester can decide to leave you alone until x, find someone else to do it, or say, but I need this now. You can they prioritize.
Open, honest, direct communication facilitates service of customers, spouse, kids, friends, etc.
Some people even have stop signs that they hang by their cubicle to communicate that they are working high priority items and request to be left alone. I remember I borrowed an office once and closed the door. People came by to see why the door was closed! It seemed self explanatory to me…
August 29, 2011 at 3:27 pm #139657
I think it depends on how often you use the “busy” excuse. If it’s something you do on a regular basis, not cool. But if it’s a one time thing, it’s understandable. Just make sure you make a future plan with the friend/co-worker so they don’t feel like you’re blowing them off!
August 29, 2011 at 4:22 pm #139655
I’m too busy to comment on this….just kidding. I think there are times, for me, when I just feel overwhelmed. To the point where I don’t know where to start. It’s not that often to be overwhelmed, so I’ll play the “I’m too busy” card.
As someone else pointed out about “good customer service,” I agree–it’s the right this to do to set the right expectations with people. For example, I’m working on a presentation with someone for this weeks NC Digital Government Summit. Last week, after we brainstormed and made an outline, I told him I wouldn’t get to it until Friday (of last week).
So, I was too busy, but I set the right expectation. Now back to the to-do list.
August 29, 2011 at 8:53 pm #139653
Yes, totally agree. Everyone’s busy, get over it.
August 30, 2011 at 3:06 pm #139651
It’s uncool, no doubt. But probably also cathartic. Does it make YOU feel better? That’s really the question.
August 31, 2011 at 8:27 pm #139649
I agree with the ‘depends on the context’
are you ‘too busy’ on a daily basis…as you come in at 815, spend 45 minutes chatting with a co-worker and sneak in that long lunch???? If so, I’d rethink using the phrase, because people will notice and think ‘well, if s/he spent more time at their desk instead of _____ then maybe they wouldn’t be so overwhelmed’
however, I also think it’s not just cool, but good to say ‘I would love to get that done for you but I have 4 things to finish by the end of the day and I can’t get it until tomorrow’. That way you’re upfront with people and honest and you forestall any ‘why isn’t it done yet???’ issues.
When clients come in with things I’ll ask ‘when do you need this’ and if I have something going on in the meantime, I’ll tell them. Then we can make other arrangements to get them what they need when they need it while still meshing that with when I can do it.
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