The Eagle Blog

Are You Too Busy to Help Yourself?

If it was easy everybody would do it!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 are beyond hope!

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 as busy as you can possibly be but you will NOT be as effective as you could be.

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.
2. INVEST in yourself … MAKE time to LEARN and get better.
3. Recognise that the world is changing at an incredible pace … so you MUST change too!


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. MAKE TIME to help yourself!

If you are too busy to help yourself then you are doing yourself AND your employer no favors! Take a little time and help yourself!

“The grass is greener where you water it!”  Unknown

Kevin Dee is CEO of Eagle (a Professional Staffing Company)
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