Busy busy busy!

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How busy are you at work? Whats your workload like? To get promoted at work it doesn’t matter how busy you are, the trick is to always appear busy. Presidents, VPs and senior management always appear busy whether they are or not, but the assumption is that if you are busy you must be important!  Plus if you are sitting twiddling your thumbs people will think you are a slacker, or even worse lazy – even if you have valid reasons for not being busy at the moment… So there are a few key ways to look busy and important .. even if you aren’t!

Get up from your desk from time to time and walk around the office. Try and look like you are on the way to a meeting or do to something critical. Also its important (especially for those who work from home sometimes) to be seen in the office so say hello to everyone you meet or at least make eye contact.

When walking around the office you may bump into colleagues who want to chat about work or socialize. If its socializing keep it short under 5 minutes – remember you are trying to appear busy. If its about work, ask them to schedule a meeting with you later… “if they can find time on my calendar” of course!

Tell everyone how busy you are – even if you are not.  Common sense would say that if you are too busy you should talk to your manager and work on reducing your workload. However nowadays you will find that conversation ends up with him giving you more work! And some career advisors will say if you can’t get it all done then maybe there you have a time management problem. But in todays workplace  thats just not realistic. Everyone is getting more and more work dumped on them and many people are overloaded. The more competent you are, the more work you get. So for this tip, you want to let people know exactly how busy you are. So lie if you have to, but drop into conversation with everyone who will listen that you regularly put in extra hours at evenings and weekends – plus it shows you are keen and dedicated!

To prove to  people what extra time you put in, send emails after work hours on work topics. If you have a mobile device this is easy, but of course that means actually having to work after hours. So instead use Outlook functionality to schedule your emails to deploy automatically after work hours.. late at night and weekends is perfect.

Don’t respond to any emails right away (unless its from your boss or senior management). Even if you happen to spot it and it looks important. You can type the response, but schedule the reply for a good few hours later. There are good reasons for this.. first “you are too busy to read your email that often”, plus a bonus is that if other people are on the email chain, then someone else may deal with the issue before you have to!

Lastly book off time on your Outlook calendar with fake meetings. If your boss asks you can just say you set aside the time to work on something, but for everyone else it makes you look super busy!

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