Too many pointless TLAs (Three Letter Acronyms) in this blog post, but it’s redeemed by having a core message that human beings are not cogs in a machine and have a finite time to accomplish their goals.

Although there have been plenty of people I’ve come across in my career who are always “super busy” there’s one person in my orbit in particular at the moment who seems to carry the world on their shoulders. As this post points out, this is due to an inability to focus on what’s important.

(The diagram below exudes peak 1990s management consultancy vibes, so I’m only including it for comedy value.) 

People inform me they are busy as if it is a badge of honor. For me, it is a signal that they have a weak personal Playing to Win strategy.


[T]o have an effective personal strategy, you need to be deliberative about choosing where to deploy your limited available hours in tasks that your particular set of capabilities enable you to generate a win by creating disproportionate value for your organization. And, since this doesn’t happen automatically, you need a personal management system for doing it on an ongoing basis — because on this front, eternal vigilance is the price of effectiveness.


Remember that strategy is what you do not what you say. So, even if you don’t think of yourself as having a personal Playing to Win strategy, step back and reverse engineer what it actually is based on what you actually do.

Source: Being ‘Too Busy’ Means Your Personal Strategy Sucks | Roger Martin