Bing Blog

Twenty Questions: Are You Too Busy?


Without busyness where would business be? Noplace, and that's the truth. But there is a point where busyness goes beyond the point of productivity and into the blasted plain where crows feed on the eyeballs of those who didn't make it across to the other side. Ask yourself the following questions:

  1. Do you forget what you were about to say just as you enter somebody's office? And you know that it wasn't that old canard about, "Oh well, that probably means it wasn't important," no, it was important all right, and it clear left your brain as you were walking the ten steps down the hall?
  2. Do you keep lists on your desk that are full of Things To Do, but you have to keep updating them because all the Things To Do that were once at the top are now in the middle, supplanted by More Critical Things To Do that accumulated while you were doing Other Things To Do that weren't even on the original list?
  3. Are you interrupted every time you start to do something by another person's agenda?
  4. Do you eat lunch at your desk just about every day and are forced to talk to people, either on the phone or in person, with tuna fish hanging off the end of your chin?
  5. Do you sometimes find yourself running to get to a meeting in your own building?
  6. Are you late for things a lot of the time when before you used to be punctual?
  7. Are you often shocked to find out what time it is? That the days seem to whiz by and at the end of them nothing really got done to completion?
  8. Do you eat Advil three times a day?
  9. Do you sometimes begin a sentence and then stand there with your mouth open, looking for the right word?
  10. Did you scream at some innocent subordinate today over something so minor it now seems ridiculous? And would you like to do it again right now?
  11. How many times does your phone ring while you are trying to concentrate?
  12. When you close your door for some privacy, do people constantly knock on it and say, "I'm sorry to disturb you, but this'll just take a second"?
  13. Do you suddenly have difficulty conjuring up the names of people with whom you've worked for years if called upon to introduce them to a stranger?
  14. Did there come a time in the last three months when you forgot to go to the bathroom and were then sequestered in a room you could not get out of for so long you nearly died?
  15. Do you sometimes lose a document on your hard drive? Like, work on it for a while, leave to attend to another matter, return and can't find it?
  16. Is your e-mailbox over its size limit?
  17. Do you put yourself to sleep at night thinking about all you have to do the next day, and then wake at 3:00 AM filled with free-floating anxiety?
  18. Do you sometimes sit at your desk, thinking about a big, sweaty martini... at 11:00 AM?
  19. Do people talk about movies you haven't seen, candidates whose names are unfamiliar to you, and celebrity sex tapes of which you have no knowledge?
  20. Are you developing BlackBerry-related arthritis of the thumb? 

If you answered yes to more than three of these questions... what the heck are you doing reading this? Get back to work!

27 Comments Add Comment

I am reading this while eating lunch at my desk and waiting for a report to run and tell me how much of a crappy job I am doing. Don't tell me to get back to work! And by the way, what does it mean when I answer yes to more than 10? The most disconcerting to me these days is #17.

Is anyone not busy enough to be too busy to answer all these?

1) Yes
2) Yes
3) Yes
4) No
5) No
6) Yes
7) Yes
8) No
9) Yes
10) No (i have no subordinates :( )
11) 0
12) Yes
13) No
14) Yes
15) No
16) No
17) No
18) Yes
19) No
20) No

Oh, jeez, I answered yes to about ten of these.

I am to busy to read all,of this!!!!

Are there really working folk that wouldn't answer yes to at least 3 of those?......job, related stuff, spouse, kids, house........

It’s honestly not so funny… as most people I know would answer “yes” to more than half of the questions, let alone three. But, having the author comically state “If you answered yes to more than three of these questions… what the heck are you doing reading this? Get back to work!” That really doesn’t offer any guidance or assistance. If I knew this questionnaire was going to be a ‘zing-gotcha’ I wouldn’t have bothered reading it. Watching our jobs being outsourced, having the workload of former employees dumped on us, while simultaneously watching our salaries being cut and our health benefits eliminated is causing all this anxiety and we’re bring forced to work ever harder just for the hope of not getting laid off. All my friends no longer spend any time with their children on the weekends because we are forced to work longer and longer hours for no increase in pay. Most folks reading this article are already at the end of their rope and looking for answers, having the author laugh at you in the end isn’t helpful

Many of these would qualify for "Are you among the millinos-strong ranks of the sleep deprived? In the No Sht Sherlock Department, we have:"Work time is the single most important lifestyle factor that impacts on sleep - the more hours you work the less sleep you get - research suggests. Commuting time ranked second, above socialising and leisure time, for eating into sleep time."

"Survey after survey confirms that people are burning the candle at both ends more and more, with no let-up on increasingly global working environments that demand long working hours and 24/7 leisure opportunities. Modern technology has done nothing to free up our time and sleep length and quality is the victim."

It is after hours, I am still here and answered yes to 15 of the 20. I too find #17 the most disturbing of them all and can now tell my sister she is right, I need a life.

Wow--most of these sound like me. Thanks for the perspective, I need to reevaluate just what the hell I am doing these days! I am recently "retired" military, but often work as much or longer than in my active duty days....

OK smart guy, what do I do if I answered yes to all but #11, and >1 for #11?

My gosh. When I worked in LA I could have said yes to all of them..... What was I thinking..

No to all. Work for the gov'ment.

Hey! Joe in Spartanburg? You're hilarious. I know you're not really kidding? But you're hilarious anyhow.

Now... AC in Melville, Long Island. You sound truly dejected. I want you to know that I was in no way making fun of anybody who's that busy. In fact, AC, I wrote the blog while sitting at the computer being besieged with phone calls, people in my face, meetings, drivel. It is, in fact, myself that I am writing about, my friend. So no, I'm not poking fun at anybody. You do, however, raise a really good point. How do we, the exploited, the wretched survivors of all the cutbacks, reorganizations, retrenchments, stop the madness?

On Tuesday morning, because Monday is a holiday on which I have no intention of working, I will offer some things to do if you failed today's quiz. I did too.

Whew AC....

Sarcasm is completely lost on some people.

Heheh....yeah, I'm too busy. More than 3 Yes. Holy Moly, I will turn off my phone now, lock my doors, disconnect the door bell and shut off the PC and then I will sit in a lonely cabin for a month.

Guess who will climb the walls? I'm serious, I will do it right now.

Does anyone who does not work for the government or in academia really get Monday as a holiday? I never have.

At least you get the holiday off, Bing!

Mathias -> Are you going to be wearing a tin foil hat and sitting in a copper mess dead room while reading conspiracy theory newsletters about how Britney Spears is the reason oil will go over $100 a barrel?

Because if you're gonna sit in that cabin, you might as well go ALL THE WAY ... :-P

Number 9... yeah that did me in. I been going non stop since 12/31/07 and that is seven days a week... While I was working this weekend I ran the auto archive for my mail box... The cell phone doesn't stop and ... Time.. day... all a blurrrrr.... But that is business... "I know I met you but what is your name, I am sorry I closed my door for a $%^&ing reason...... Ahh Business... if I went on vacation long than a week i would lose my @#$%ing mind.

nope. not this busy, if i were, would i be reading this?

If we are "the wretched survivors of all the cutbacks, reorganizations, retrenchments" then where are the "victims"? I guess unemployment is really not that high these days. Perhaps we can take comfort that in 75 years none of today's problems will matter (to us at least since we will be dead). In fact, whether or not we make any deadlines this year will not matter. So, don't worry, be happy!:)

Bing, your captious humor is a tonic for the new workforce in the world. Your quiz applies to all categories of workers and professionals who are lucky to be gainfully employed or not.

2008, being an election year, has a group of sweat hogs or politicalholics who can no doubt answer yes to all 20 points in your quiz. The comments in political blogs seem to really fuel temperment on the campaign trail.

The political speedway takes no prisoners, one must win or suffer the agony of defeat and atrophy in waiting until the next race.

The clock ticks 60 seconds every minute. Today our time piece is the microprocessor in big brother's mainframe hidden in some remote and secured place telling us when to come and go.

Isn't progress great?

I answered yes to too many. However, 18 wasn't so bad. Just substitute the martini out for a cold beer or extra large margarita.

I am taking a break to read this article that a friend sent me. And it is depressing. I think it's even worse that it sounds, and I don't know the solution except to just say forget it. Throw away the computer. Completely forget about the hundreds and thousands of emails and projects and and and. All more than we can really do. I need a vacation and then I'd like to hit the "reset" button. Give us some tips Bing! Check out Workaholics Anonymous too.

Click,click,click- each click on the mouse takes me into another field- branching out from the last like a blood supply of infinite capillaries. Sometimes I click 10 times to arrive at my destination, only to wonder how I got there. All I hear is clicking, clacking and beeping. Is everyone diligent and skilful? Am I the only one who wishes the trails led to the top of exciting mountains...
p.s I answered "yes" to a lot more than 3 of these questions.

I googled, "tired of people that say they are too busy" and found this blog. Really everyone, I have to admit, I fail to see why everyone thinks they are just so busy. What it really is, is that you want to feel important. Like you are so busy because you are so important. Nope. You are busy because you a) think you are, and b) have poor time management skills.

I work a salary job with hours of Monday through Friday from 7am -530pm. With Saturdays a hit and miss. I also have an 8 year old son, I am currently fixing up a new house I just bought, I play arena football, I work out everyday for an hour and a half, I have read 2 books this month, I have my real estate license and have 3 listings, and yet I still have time to spend with my girlfriend, and I watch several TV shows on a weekly basis, while sleeping an average of 6 hours a night.

You are not "that cool or important". Learn some time management skills and quit being lazy. And whatever you do, QUIT COMPLAINING!

Oh, and once the landscape growing seasopn hits, I also maintain a garden, and an award winning landscape in growing zone 6b.

Get over yourselves.