This Business of ‘Busy-Ness’

This Business of ‘Busy-Ness’


In South Africa we have developed a new way of greeting each other we say the obligatory “hellos” and “how are you” and we have now added a third question, “are you busy?”

Recently when I was being asked this question, I found myself nodding and responding enthusiastically that I was indeed very, very busy.   Then I stopped and thought “what is this busy-ness really all about?”  In our society and business lives we are starting to wear busy-ness like a status symbol, like a label of our importance: our right to exist in the world.

We are living in a time that is obsessed with achievement, productivity and getting things done yesterday.  We have communication bombarding us through a myriad of channels – emails, sms, bbms, phone calls, meetings, media, social media.  Colossal amounts of content are vying for our attention; the quantity is increasing every day but is it really improving the QUALITY of our lives?

How much of your busy-ness is noise and distraction rather than meaningful interaction?

All of these realizations have caused me to start examining my own life and my work.  I have begun to understand that my busy-ness is not effective and just leads to me being overwhelmed, stressed-out and unpleasant with the people in my life.

As a Fairy Godmother I help people and companies get clear on their dreams, goals and vision and in my work I find that we are so busy with our projects, plans and iPhones that there is no time in our lives for reflection on what we really want or what is actually important, our dreams and goals. We attend to what is in front of us, not what is within us.

A few weeks ago I took a stand to move OUT of busy-ness and into quality of life – which includes time for reflection, time for me and dedicating quality time to the things that are going to further my business rather than just putting out fires.

I have started to take a few key actions that are miraculously transforming my life and the results have been amazing.  Here are the steps I have taken:

  • Stop being a slave to your email. Constantly checking email is a huge time waster.  I have recently put an auto-responder onto my email which politely says that I only check email once per day at 3pm and if someone has an urgent enquiry they can call me.   It takes me about an hour to go through all my emails once a day and respond to the things that require my attention, rather than being distracted throughout the day by my inbox.
  • Write down every morning the two key actions that you can take that will move you one step further to your goal.   Then do those two key actions first.   Suddenly you are doing what’s important rather than being in reaction and responding to what’s urgent
  • For one hour each day, turn your phone off. An hour of uninterrupted work time or family time is a huge relief to the system.   The reason why voicemail exists is so that people can leave messages.
  • Start scheduling into your week things that you love to do, the things that make your soul light up. By adding quality moments into your week, life becomes much more rewarding.

Taking these four simple steps above has allowed me to feel liberated and the results that are being produced in my business and my life are incredible.  Letting go of busy-ness and staying in inspiration and vision is bringing me a whole new level of success.   I feel like I am truly living and am aware of the beauty and texture of life rather than being caught in the overwhelming hamster wheel of busy-ness.

Donna McCallum
Donna McCallum is also known as the Fairy Godmother. She has helped thousands of people in South Africa, the UK and the US focus on their dreams and goals. She is the author of The Fairy Godmother’s Guide to Getting What you Want and runs empowering 12 Week Money Magic Online Programme to help people transform their relationship to money. Prior to being a Fairy Godmother, Donna was a successful entrepreneur having started, built and sold businesses in media and marketing. For more info on Donna and the Money Magic courses, visit the Fairy Godmother website.