Are You Busy Being Busy…?

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Are You Busy Being Busy…?

At SBXL, we don’t just analyse the behaviour of shoppers, we also study business professionals such as clients, retailers and suppliers. Now more than ever, people are wearing ‘being busy’ as a badge of honour, and have more to do than ever.

In the corporate world of retail, time-scarcity is an ever-deepening concern and with sales still falling short of targets – why is it that we feel so busy? The majority (90% according to research) of professionals are now clocking up more than 50 hours in their work week, and easy access to emails means people are connected to work for more than 13 hours a day – so is it a case of being busy, or busy failing?

When company performance is steady or on the rise, and results are good – people are rewarded for their efforts with perks, bonuses or shares etc. Therefore, people’s time is becoming more valuable, and as such there seems to be less of it.

The more ‘cash rich’ executives and companies become, the more ‘time poor’ they feel, and with so much choice these days of what to spend their new found wealth on, people are feeling even more starved of time – especially when it comes to leisure and their social lives.

Modern day technology only exacerbates the problem, with everyone constantly checking their emails and having their phones in their hands most of the time. They are available for contact at any time during the day and night and we are living in a cultural society where there is an expectation to gain an immediate response.

There is, however evidence to support the fact that this corporate busyness pays off – those who are first at their desks and last to go home are out-performing in terms of career progression, especially in a cut-throat head office environment. 

Take our test to find out if you are effectively busy, or just busy for effect?

  • How many work related emails do you receive per day?
  • How many of those are questions for you?
  • How many are responses to your questions?
  • How many work related telephone calls do you make / receive per day (the average is between 7 and 10)?
  • How many meetings do you attend per day (including conference calls and catch-ups)?
  • Outside of meetings, how much of your day is spent having face-to-face conversations with colleagues?
  • How much time per day do you spend reading and reviewing professional information?
  • How much of the information you review each day is relevant to your needs within your role?
  • How much time per day do you spend trying to relocate information you have previously read, but can no longer find?


As a rough estimate, we spend more than 7 hours of our working day (on average) communicating – not actually completing any tasks, just being involved in the process of communication – whether it be via email, in meetings or conference calls or talking to colleagues. With so many different ways to communicate, we are doing so in more ways than ever before, and it is this that is deflecting our focus from our core objectives in our work (in the case of retail – sales and profit.)

Perhaps this is the reason behind missed targets and longer hours? I suggest we stop talking about how busy we are, and focus on getting back to business effectively and efficiently.

For further insight in how to manage your time more effectively, and tap into a wealth of valuable knowledge at your fingertips, visit SBXL or email me at As one of the world’s leading authorities on shopper psychology and behaviour, I can save you time by providing the right answers and the best insight – so what are you waiting for? Get in touch! Call 07960 109 876 to set up a consultation now.

I look forward to hearing from you.

Philip Adcock, Managing Director at SBXL.