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Busy people walking on sidewalk, change busy to productive

How to Stop Saying, "I'm Too Busy"

Spark Business Consultation

by Jeff Clarke, CPA, CA

Our Avail CPA team refers to this time of year as “busy season.” We’re coming in early, staying late, working weekends as we are busy filing personal income tax returns for our clients, get year-ends done, and complete municipal audits. “How’s it going?” people ask us. “BUSY!” we reply automatically.

Every industry and every organization has its busy periods. And many in management find themselves in a ‘busy’ mindset daily, where email responses take longer, calls aren’t returned, meetings are moved continually, and strategic planning is put on the back burner.

There are some real downsides of coming across as “too busy”, including:

  • Peers or prospective clients perceiving you’re at capacity and hesitating to refer or buy from you
  • Focusing on the urgent and unimportant issues 95% of the time means missing strategic opportunities
  • Neglecting the bigger picture and focusing on activities that aren’t important to the achievement of your life and business goals
  • Self-sabotaging behaviour where you delay chasing prospective clients and responding to customer inquiries or complaints


Instead of thinking of yourself as “busy”, start thinking of how “productive” you are. How can you change your “busy” mindset to a productive one? Here are 2 ideas to help you and your business:

Prioritize tasks rapidly and effectively

Successful business owners know where they are going, and then avoid or delegate tasks that don’t contribute to the achievement of their goals. Quickly prioritizing tasks as “do” or “delegate” – and not coming back to them later – will help you stay focused and use your time most effectively. You can also implement technology time savers such as workflow, job management, and email-to-action integration to help your time management.

Delegation to an ‘A’ team

Successful delegation is only possible with a great team around you, and this includes not only your team but also suppliers. Surrounding yourself with quality team members and suppliers will enable you to achieve your goals and control your stress levels. Quality clients and suppliers who fit your model and core values will also be vital assets, avoiding distractions of poor quality support or the frustration of unreasonable clients.

When you move out of a “busy” mindset and into a “productive” one you will be surprised how much more of the important things you can achieve. When people ask how you’re doing and you respond, “I’m really productive!” the energy will be contagious. Watch how thinking you’re productive helps you actually BE more productive and improve your business.

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