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  • Writer's pictureNatalie Robinson Bruner

Too Busy To Be Better

Updated: Feb 15, 2022

large, busy stairwell

Are you tired of putting in so many working hours, yet it seems like all you do is work without really growing and moving to the next level where you can start learning new skills, command better rates, achieve some work-life balance, and more?

Do you feel as if you are on the verge of burnout, and the risk of everything coming crushing down seems more real with each passing moment despite the many working hours?

It’s time to get off the rollercoaster ride of working too hard for too long, and instead enter a new phase of your life where you move from burnout to engagement.

Several people have told me that if you want to get something done giving it to a busy person. This sentiment has always bothered me from a sense of fairness and justice. So, I would prefer to operate from the old adage that we should smarter not harder.

In our modern day life where 50 hour work weeks are very normal, with some people even doing over 70-hour workweeks, it is very easy to get caught up in the grind whether you are an employee or employer.

It is tempting to simply focus on work and get whatever work is available done. And while there is nothing wrong with completing the available work, the truth is that it is easy to get too caught up in getting stuff done. And as you get caught up in being busy, you may realize that you barely have any time, energy, and other resources left to plan for the future, learn a new skill, improve your existing skills, reflect, find new and efficient ways of doing things, and more. Not investing in growth activities may result in having a harder time retaining employees, lack of fulfillment for everyone working in an organization (pay/income is not the solution), poor service delivery, and eventually burnout.

By virtue that you are reading this, it is clear you’ve seen the worrying trend. And you wish to break it, to prevent burnout, grow employees, yourself, and the organization, become more efficient, discover new opportunities, and reach your full potential.

Even if you feel you are already caught up in the grind and there is no way out for yourself, your organization or your employees without losing it all, there is a transformational path from burnout to engagement.

cat under a blanket

The Trap Of Busyness

The average American works for 44 hours a week, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics[1]. A poll done by National Gallup in 2014 showed put the workweek for the average American at 47 hours, with a good number of people saying they work for over 50 hours per week. And these figures are mainly for non-professionals in industries that are not very competitive.

In highly competitive and demanding industries such as finance, technology, production lines, legal, medical, startups, and more, 60 hour work weeks is a norm. What’s more, some professions even require employees to be available on call even when it is outside their working hours.

Off days, sick leaves, and more are increasingly becoming fewer and wide apart as demands for work increase.

With such increasingly busy schedules and overwhelming work demands, it is very easy to get caught up in being busy, not grow yourself and your organization, and become burnt out.

Tips to Escape the Trap

  • Be mindful if you are feeling stressed and burnt out. Take care of yourself.

  • Take time to focus on self care (eating right, exercising, sleeping, meditating, etc.). Self care is critical to your success.

  • Schedule 2-3 hours of professional development time per week. Read more. Take a class. Speak to other professionals about a problem you're experiencing. I love Audible books.

  • On a weekly basis, reflect on the success and failures from the previous week, plan for the upcoming week, measure your progress towards your goals, and scan the landscape for opportunities.

  • Set annual goals

  • Set up a meeting to set up your Burnout to Engagement Training with Glad●ED Solutions

You can do this. Don't get trapped by the busyness, mindfully move towards your goals by working on the things that lead to your success.


About the Author

Natalie Robinson Bruner helps organizations develop systems and implement strategies that engage their workforce by offering a three-stage process of training, planning and offering individualized consulting. By using research, experience, case studies, pragmatic solutions, humor, engaging activities and her own secret sauce; Natalie delivers a powerful message about engaging staff. In a fast-changing world, we need information that engages the organization resulting in realizing a purpose-driven mission, reducing turnover, and impacting the bottom line. Her clients include large to medium-sized businesses, government agencies and non-profit organizations. Glad●ED Solutions develops succinct, research-based, experienced-informed training coupled with a pragmatic action plan for implementation. We are more than the fly-by-night training. Glad●ED Solutions offers creative solutions for personal and organizational development through corporate training, individual coaching and special events to support career advancement.


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