Author(s): Tony Crabbe
It's difficult to ask anybody 'How are you?' without hearing the word 'busy' somewhere in their response. We feel overwhelmed by busyness because of the demands on our time: our inbox and our to-do list are bulging, a huge amount of people expect things from us and our organisations are trying to do more with fewer people.
But it doesn't have to be that way. In reality, busyness isn't essential. Yes, there is a lot to do, but believing you're always busy because you have so much to do is both false and unhelpful. Busyness is a normal response to a world of too much, but it isn't the only response.
In Busy Tony Crabbe draws on solid psychological research to address one of the great problems of modern life: we're too busy. But it isn't a time-management book. Rather than providing advice for increasing productivity and efficiency, it sets out four key strategies (corresponding to sections of the book) for thriving despite of the overload of too much:
1. Mastery - to move beyond busyness you need to regain a sense of mastery over your life. This section shows you how to build a sense of control back into your life, take responsibility for making choices and how to set boundaries to protect you from the flood of demands and information.
2. Focus - in a world of too much, success is not about doing more at work but about making an impact. This section outlines three ways to move to a career strategy that doesn't rely on productivity alone.
3. Engagement - busyness can cause you to disengage from the people, values and activities that are important to us. This section provides you with the three keys to re-engaging with your work and life.
4. Momentum - part of the challenge to moving beyond busyness is that even if you agree you should make the change, you're too busy to find the time and energy to do anything about it. This section is dedicated to helping you make the change, creating the impetus, energy and clarity to move to a life less busy.
Tony Crabbe is a business psychologist who works with multinational companies around the world to help them think, feel and do things better. He has worked with companies including Microsoft, News Corporation, Disney, HSBC and the World Bank. He is also a research fellow in the field of organisational psychology at Birkbeck College, University of London.