Dear Giacomo: I'm too busy

Nonprofit master Giacomo Crostini is here to answer all your burning questions about life in the nonprofit sector. Email him at [email protected] for advice and guidance.

giacomo.jpgDear Giacomo,

Holy moly! I’ve been noticing lately that when people ask me how I’m doing, my answer is almost always…”busy!” I’ve got so much on my plate these days that I’m having a hard time managing it and need some tips and tricks!

Busy & Underwater. Today & Tomorrow Stressed


Well well well - it seems your letter was finally the kick in the trousers I needed to get back into the advice column scene once again. This question is one near and dear to my hermit crab loving heart. We are all so busy! We feel busy every day! We look busy every day! The people around us are busy too! Even just typing about being busy is exhausting. However, fret not BUTTS. I’m here once again with my insights and advice which were recently described as “verbal gold nuggets of glorious wisdom.”™  

Be like a duck

duck.gifThis happens to be some of the best advice I’ve ever gotten, and I still remind myself about it at least once a week. It’s an old analogy that you may have heard before - but it’s a good one BUTTS! Above the water ducks glide along with a seeming effortless grace, but if you look underneath the water, you will see those feet paddling a million miles a minute! Being busy might be out of our control sometimes - but how we manage it, and how we make those around us feel, is always within our control.

If duck analogies aren’t your bag then another way to think about it is with one of my favorite meatball metaphors which you can find in my upcoming e-book: Meatballs, Metaphors, and Mozzarella. I won’t be listing the metaphor here due to an agreement with my publisher but rest assured it’s very poignant. 

Be like a tapir

tapir.gifI’m not sure if you have been around many tapirs but, lucky for you, I have. You know the one way I would describe them? "C-H-I-L-L!"

Take a page out of the tapir book and relax! Tapirs do this by going for a swim, hanging in shallow mud pits, or foraging around. Now that system might not work for everyone, but the sentiment is the same! Find some stuff that unlocks a different part of your brain, BUTTS, and will take you out of the hustle and bustle. Even if it’s just for 5 minutes a day. It’s pretty clear from just looking at a tapir that, no matter how nutty life can get, they are going to take things with a grain of salt and enjoy the moment.

Like my Great-Grandma Saccone used to always say, “If your are drowning in bruschetta you might as well take a bite.” That woman loved bruschetta. 

echidna.gifBe like a baby echidna

Actually, being like a baby echidna won’t help you feel better about being busy. But seriously BUTTS, look at this thing. We live in an amazing world.

Be like a sea pig

sea-pig.gifOk BUTTS. Stick with me here. Sea Pigs might not seem like an obvious choice - but I’m sure by now you are literally hanging on my every word. Just hang on a little longer! I don’t know much about these swine of the sea, but I do know this: they are often found in large gatherings of many hundreds of individuals.

Now you might think that it’s just because sea pigs love a party when there is a fresh whale carcass on the ocean floor, but I take a different spin. The romantic in me likes to recognize the value of having a strong community around you. Whether that community is your family, your church, or your magicians guild, we tend to do better when we take time to connect with and participate in community. No matter how busy my day was, I know that if I spend 30 minutes at my local crustacean owners club that I’ll feel refreshed and rejuvenated afterwards.

So, the next time you are feeling overwhelmed and stressed, be like the sea pig; just take a moment to connect with someone and participate in a community that is important and meaningful to you. Say what you will about Sea Pigs, but they always have a great perspective and see the big picture.

So, what will you be like?

At the end of the day it’s all about taking care of ourselves as best we can. It’s hard to be perfect at it but if you follow my advice then you will be as close to perfect as you can get. In some ways we aren’t in control of our schedules but there are always parts of our busy lives that are a choice, so continue to choose what makes you happy! If all else fails you can always google baby echidna videos to feel better. Thanks for writing in! Ciao!
Other resources/articles:

  1. 45 Productivity Tips for Extremely Busy People
  2. Overwhelmed? 10 Ways to Feel Less Busy
  3. 4 Ways to Break Free from Being “Too Busy” 

Bonus link: This image was is in the results when I google image searched “secrets of busy people 2016”

Want to share your own advice on this topic with the YNPN-TC community? Tweet it  at @ynpntc and use the hashtag #deargiacomo.

More advice from Giacomo Crostini

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