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Are You Too Busy to Help Yourself?

Every now and then I write about "time management" or "personal productivity" related topics ... and this topic is a classic!

It takes effort (and time) to get better at "time management", but of course, only if you make time!

Those reading this who see the irony in that statement have some hope. Those who don't? Well let's just say you have work to do!

I come across people ALL the time who are extremely busy, they are SO busy that they are metaphorically running from the minute they start their day until the minute they leave. I am as guilty of this as many. I run my own company and am very involved in a number of other industry and charity related activities, which keeps me very busy ... but NOT TOO busy to help myself!

So what is the point?

If you let your day drive you then inevitably you will be (a) very busy ; and (b) NOT very effective.

You MUST take control of your time.

I meet CEOs running companies with (a) serious problems; (b) potential huge opportunities; or (c) just other things they should be doing ... but they are too busy to help themselves!

I meet salespeople who spend their days "doing stuff" ... I don't know what they are doing but they are in the office all day! How can you be meeting clients and winning business if you are in the office all day? They are too busy to help themselves!

I meet people who are new on the job and they are extremely busy, but they are just "doing their job" from the minute they arrive to the minute they leave ... without applying any thought, like automatons. They are not learning and progressing ... because they are too busy to help themselves.

I see companies in every sector that are doing things the same way they have always done them ... because they are too busy to help themselves.

'The essential question is NOT, "How busy are you?" but "What are you busy at?"'

Oprah Winfrey

OK ... HOW can YOU help yourself?

1. Understand what is important to your success ... and MAKE time for THAT. Understand priorities!

2. INVEST in yourself ... MAKE time to LEARN and get better.

3. Stop doing the same things you have always done and still expecting different results!


1. Sales people (one of my favorite subjects). Getting out in front of clients is CRITICAL to your success. If you are not having MORE meetings than your industry average then you are AVERAGE.

MAKE TIME every day to set up meetings into the future (the big rocks parable) ... all the other important tasks WILL get done around the meetings.

2. Business Owners. MAKE time to work ON your business rather than IN it. Get away from the office to THINK and PLAN; ask your staff for input; get a coach/mentor; join a peer group and go to the meetings! MAKE TIME to help yourself!

3. Managers. Learn to delegate and let your people do the work! If you try to do everything yourself you become a bottleneck! Help yourself by developing the discipline to let go!

"The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and the self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it."

Theodore Roosevelt

4. Everyone. Set aside some time to READ; to LEARN; take advantage of EVERY training opportunity that you can. THINK about what you do. Set aside some time to think about how YOU can be better at what you do.

Never ALLOW yourself to be too busy to help yourself!

"The grass is greener where you water it!"

Kevin Dee is the founder of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)

Want to know where Canada's hot jobs are? Visit the Eagle Job Board!


I write these articles with the intent of sharing MY experience and knowledge gained during MY life journey. From the 16 year old joining the Royal Navy, through many incarnations, to the grey haired guy who built a business. If you find a nugget here, then I am happy. If the message offends you then I apologise, that was never my intent. I know and recognize there are many people and groups who have a far bigger challenge than I have had and I only wish you well.