Do this when you friend is addicted to busy-ness… – Pick Dave’s Brain

This week’s question comes from Greg in Melbourne, Australia. He asks:

Hi Dave! I really enjoyed your “Time Management” courses and I have a partner who really needs your help. Whenever I encourage her to take your course, she says she’s “too busy.” What should I do?

Click to tweet this: Have a friend with time management issues? Share this video. Friends don’t let friends waste time. @DaveCrenshaw

Is your friend so busy they can’t take time to make time?

This week’s question comes from Greg in Melbourne, Australia. He asks:

Hi Dave! I really enjoyed your Time Management courses and I’ve learned a lot. My question relates to my partner. She is always so busy with her work and does 4-5 hours of work every night in addition to her long hours at work. I’ve tried to talk to her about steps toward managing her workload better, but she always just says that she is too busy. Any tips on how to help her through this? Thanks!


This is a common issue, Greg. A lot of people are so out of control when it comes to their time management, that they feel that they don’t have any time to go through a course about time management.

To me, that’s like saying “I am so thirsty that I can’t go get a drink of water.” It’s absurd, but part of the problem is that people have a time horizon that is too short. My guess is that your partner can’t get the help because her time horizon is about two weeks. If she doesn’t have room within the next two weeks to do it, she doesn’t see how it could get done.

Instead, we want to look at the next two years. Can she schedule time to do that somewhere in there? And that’s the question that I ask people when they hesitate about going through my Time Management course. I respond by asking, “Well, could you plan time to go on a two-day vacation or a two-day seminar sometime, in the next six months or so?”

And usually when I ask that question, they’ll say “Well, yeah I could do that if it’s like three months from now.”

And I say “Great! Then let’s schedule time to go through the Time Management course then. And let’s block the time out in your calendar”—very important.

Then you, as a partner, after you help her do this your job is to help her protect that time. Every once in a while, not in an annoying way—but just to check in—say, “Hey, I just want to make sure that you still got February 3rd and 4th to go through the course.”

Help her protect that commitment. She’ll be tempted to schedule other things during that time. But if she can keep that time clean, she’ll be able to get the help she needs when the time arrives.

Thanks for the question, Greg.

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