Are you busy? If you’re like most people the short answer is —YES! But is that really true?

What are you busy at? Looking at your phone? Watching TV? Sitting in a bar? There’s busy — and then there’s busy.

The 80—20 Rule

In business the rule is that around 80 percent of your business comes from 20 percent of your customers.

If you’ve ever worked for a non-profit about 20 percent of the volunteers do 80 percent of the work.

But when it comes to being busy we have to reverse that rule. About 80 percent of your busyness is non-productive.

Only about 20 percent of your time is actually beneficial in some way.

Don’t Steal My Time

What makes that 20 percent so productive? My initial guess is they value time. Elvis once said, “You can take my money, you can steal my car, drink my liquor from and old fruit jar…”

I can replace the money, the car, and the liquor — but I can’t replace the time.

I can’t remember the last time my wife or I were late for an appointment. Usually we find ourselves waiting nearby until the appointment time arrives.

My father always told me that being late shows my lack of respect for someone else's time that they will never get back.

Busy Time Steals Time

The older I get the more conscious I am of time. Probably because what I’ve got left is getting shorter.

Busy time steals time. So I want to be in the 80 percent productive group. Being productive is a mindset. It’s a learned response.

Ironically being productive will actually give you more free time because smart planning and efficiency will allow you to accomplish more in a shorter amount of time.

Some Final Thoughts

There are probably more songs written about love and time than any other two topics. There’s a good reason for that.

Both are intangibles. Time is exact — love is not. And, both are extremely valuable to the person they’re affecting.

Both should not be wasted — or discounted.

Don’t steal my time.

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