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When People Ask “How It’s Going”​ This Year, Don’t Reply with “Busy”​

Source | LinkedIn | Robert Glazer | Entrepreneur, Best-Selling Author and Speaker | Founder & CEO @ Acceleration Partners

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There’s a response to a commonly asked question that’s become a conversational crutch today:

“How’s it going?” “Good! Just busy.”

This exchange is ubiquitous in both our personal and professional lives. It’s as if busyness carries a certain status symbol. Yet, being” busy” doesn’t make us happier; and it doesn’t make us more productive. It just means we are filling all of our available time. It’s also not very welcoming for someone that was trying to engage with you.

A few years ago, in one of our quarterly offsite meetings, a leadership team member told our facilitator, “I just don’t have enough time!” The facilitator looked at her, then at all of us, and said, “As a leader, ‘not enough time’ is an excuse you all must take out of your vocabulary. If you are waiting for all this free time to come, it’s never going to happen. It’s about what you prioritize and how you use your time. Effective leaders know how to prioritize what’s most important.”

His words have stuck with me. Even though I still find the phrasing “I’ve been busy!” on the tip of my tongue when someone asks me how I’ve been, I make a conscious effort not to say it. I try and remind my team to do the same.

Instead of hopelessly waiting to be given the gift of more free time, as we start a new year consider what high-achievers do to stay focused and accomplish large, long-term goals. They:

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