New Castle News

December 6, 2012

Tim Kolodziej: Four reasons why I am so busy — what about you?

Tim Kolodziej
New Castle News

NEW CASTLE — “Busy.”

Ask someone how they are doing, and I’d be willing to bet that’s the response you’ll get.

At least eight out of 10 times.

Maybe nine.

Maybe you’ve even said it once or twice yourself.

I have. And, I must admit, my pride often makes me think that term is a badge of honor or something.

As I’m learning daily, it’s not.

Instead, “busyness” is actually a disease borne from a variety of negative factors. Because I know how busy you are too, I’ll limit my reasons to just four to save you some time.

1) Dread — There are some tasks that just aren’t pleasant to perform. Confronting a co-worker, disciplining a child, filling out paperwork ... you get the picture.

Let me give you an example. Let’s say I have a four-page report to fill out for my company. Presuming I am somewhat familiar with the material, it may take a half-hour of my day to complete. Not too bad. That stll leaves me 23 and a half hours in the day.

However, because it’s not in my sweet spot and I really dislike paperwork, I will find 77 others tasks to complete to avoid the forms. As a result, I don’t get to it until the end of the day and then I find myself racing home to get the kids off the bus.

Man, I am so fearful ... er, busy.

2) Lack of focus — Have you seen the movie “Up?” You should. The visuals are gorgeous and it’s surprisingly moving and thoughtful for an animated film. If you have seen it, I tend to be a bit like “Dug,” the golden retriever.

If you recall, Dug could be eating dinner or conversing with an elderly man and, in the midst of a sentence, shout “Squirrel!” To put it politely, he loses focus.



That’s me. I could be tracking an elephant with an elephant gun, and on the way I start shooting at rabbits. If I’m searching for a story and I stumble upon something I wrote five years ago, of course I read it. Then I discover another hidden treasure and read that, too. Before I know it, my day is nearly done and I’m scrambling.

Man, I am so scattered ... er, busy.

3) People pleasing — I hate to say no to people. I really do. I enjoy serving. I like to solve problems. I like to be needed and helpful.

As a day progresses and I’m on course to complete my priorities, I might jump into five or six situations I should have left alone. But you know how it goes. Someone calls or visits you and says, “I know this really isn’t your department, but would you have a second to ... (fill in the blank.)”

I’m a sucker for that question every time. Not because I am good at dozens of things, but because I am trying to be nice. Or maybe I just want others to think highly of me. So, what happens, is the thing I really NEEDED to do that day gets pushed back and now I’m on the computer at 10 p.m.

Man, I am such a people pleaser ... er, busy.

4) Laziness — Back in college, I vividly remember sitting around with my roomate and complaining about how much homework we had. Three hours later, we were still complaining and hadn’t picked up a pencil. Not much has changed.

Although I like to think I live a relatively successful and fulfilling life, I often battle the urge to just sit on the couch and watch TV. Especially when I know I have things to do later. Then, when it’s time to actually act on an issue, it weighs even heavier on my mind because I just don’t want to do it. I actually perceive that I’m busier than I really am.

Man, I am so lazy ... er, busy.

At least that will be my story the next time you ask me how I’m doing.

(How about you? Which of these areas do you struggle with most? If you aren’t too busy, let me know in the Facebook comments section. Next week, I’ll share a few strategies to combat busyness that I’ve picked up through the years that may help you as well.)


Watch a brief clip of Dug in action from the movie ‘Up.’