Cracking the “Crazy Busy” Code: Your Answer to Being Overwhelmed
A Book Review – The Crazy Busy Cure: A productivity book for people with no time for productivity books
By Zena Everett
What is “Crazy Busy”?
Extracted from the book, let’s begin by taking a quick self-test to determine if you exhibit traits of a “Crazy Busy Person”. Consider the following characteristics and see if any of them resonate with you:
- You have so much to do that you can’t get anything done.
- Your colleagues, friends and family often say how busy you seem.
- You can barely find time to think, never mind think strategically.
- You have an idea of something which feels like a real game-changer, but you haven’t got time to figure it out.
- Your inbox has become your to-do list.
- Your best people get the most to do and your underperformers get away with it.
- You like to fix things for other people and make their life better. It’s important to you that people like you.
- You didn’t read this list properly and just skimmed through it.
These are just a few examples of the traits exhibited by a “Crazy Busy Person”. While you may or may not identify with this description, chances are you know someone who does.
The book consists of five parts and is a relatively short read, spanning 140 pages.
Part 1 provides a straightforward assessment to determine if you fall into the “crazy busy” category. If you were drawn to reading this book in the first place, it’s highly likely that you can relate. Part 2 forms the core of the book, offering various strategies to alleviate your busy schedule. The remaining three parts share practical insights on escaping the “Crazy Busy” life and regaining control.
Zena, an executive coach with extensive experience inspiring senior leaders globally, authored this book.
The links for purchasing the book are paid links via Amazon which we may receive commissions from qualifying purchases.
Who is this book for?
This is a productivity book designed for working people who found their life too occupied by work. If you believe you are a Crazy Busy Person after doing the test above, I believe this book is for you.
Per Zena, the purpose of this book is to help crazy busy people to get off their competitively busy, lonely busy life. By becoming more efficient in completing your actual work, you’ll experience greater satisfaction.
Accomplishing more meaningful tasks allows you to regain control of your life beyond work, leading to increased success and happiness.
Three Practical “Cures” I Learned to Tackle Crazy Busyness
This is a practical book. To demonstrate that this is a productivity book, the author summarizes each knowledge sharing in a few pages. You can navigate each chapter easily and finish the book fairly quickly. The book covers a wide range of topics, and I found the following three points particularly beneficial:
1. Know what your boss wants from you
Before we join a firm and work on a new position, most of us are crystal clear on what we need to do and what our bosses expect from us. However, over time, we tend to forget the specifics of our job descriptions.
Zena reminded us that we would review our job descriptions from time to time, and understand what exactly are the expectations from our boss. By doing so will allow us to focus our time and attention on our actual work.
Zena emphasizes that we cannot finish every single task, even if you are an extreme crazy busy person. So stop trying to do so. Instead, we should identify and prioritize what your position is expected to do and focus intently on these particular tasks.
By demonstrating to our boss that we are fully dedicated to accomplishing the essential aspects of our job, what more can be expected from us?
2. Chase antelopes, not field mice
This antelope/ field mice analogy suggests that lions won’t bother to chase field mice or other small animals they see around them. The effort required to spot one, chase and kill it just doesn’t worth the effort and meet their survival criteria. Instead, lions will spend days chasing antelopes and enjoy a bigger feast. They will take rest in between these intervals.
This analogy is brilliant and totally relatable to work. I have learnt from this book for the first time and I will make sure I remember this for life.
Similarly, in our work lives, we should focus on our key tasks—the game-changers that define our careers and performance (the “antelope”). The “field mice”, on the other hand, represents low value work such as emails, admin or pointless meetings.
Zena suggested that every day you go to work, you need to understand and make time to attend to your biggest game-changer (i.e. the antelope). Clear your schedule and allocate large chunks of time to deal with this key task. Be laser-focused in finishing it while allowing some time for contemplation and planning.
As for the “field mice”, Zena suggested you should also schedule time around critical tasks to finish them too, despite the much lower importance and value they hold.
3. Meetings: much to say about nothing
The author pointed out that meetings are always wasting time and productivity hijackers. This is an observation I wholeheartedly agree with.
Meetings are only valuable if they result in decisions or identify problems. Unfortunately, many meetings today are unproductive, as participants come unprepared and present disorganized ideas.
Zena pointed out that the purposes of meetings should be for making decisions or flagging up problems. They should not be used to chit-chat and waste everyone’s precious working time.
If you are a meeting initiator or organizer, one useful tip is to set out a clear agenda and stick to it strictly. Do not let others hijack the meeting.
I have been trying to setting and adhering to clear an agenda for meeting that I am hosting. And I definitely see the advantages and effectiveness of doing so.
“Crazy Busy Cure” is a brilliant small little book about productivity. It offers tips that are practical and useful. The content is easily understandable and highly relatable to our modern world.
I highly recommend you to check this book out, which is definitely a rewarding read.
I mentioned at the introduction that you may or may not be a “crazy busy person”, but you must know a person or two around you who is. Reading this book can not only benefit individuals struggling with busyness but also those who want to understand and support their colleagues, friends, or family members who exhibit signs of being overwhelmed by their workload.
A happy life is one that you find purposes and can take control of. By learning how to cure “crazy busyness”, we will be one step closer to the successful life that we desired.
Thank you for reading, and I look forward to connecting with you again in the next one.
Read “The Crazy Busy Cure”
The links for purchasing these books are paid links via Amazon which we may receive commissions from qualifying purchases.
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One response to “Is this Brilliant Book the Real Cure for Crazy Busy People?”
I agree that busy people are sometimes overwhelmed by loss of focus, but very often that we find that our boss also lost their focus from time to time. It is their frequent reprioritization that contributes to our crazy busy life.Loading…