From the coaches seat I get the privilege of working with dozens of high performing professional people. All of them are unique, and we use tools like DISC to help us clarify each client's unique observable behaviors. But in this approach to uniquely serve each individual client, I see one very common denominator that weighs on almost every one of them. Most of them are too BUSY!
And here is the really interesting fact… most of them know it, hate it and really believe that being busy is part of what keeps them from being more successful!
Jim Collins calls busyness “the undisciplined pursuit of more.” Think about that. Why have most of us bought the cultural lie that says if you can do something, you should? Who do we think wins the award for busiest and what is the reward?
The word "priority" was introduced to the English language in the 1400s and for 500 years it was singular. But during the 1900s we transitioned to thinking in terms of priorities — organizing several things that all matter without any clarity on what order they should follow. Somehow our culture (and now many of the world’s cultures) bought into the celebration of busyness.
Of course the last 100 years introduced the information age, but the reality of what’s now happening in the last 10 years is no longer about information overload — we now have opinion overload.
So this begs the question…why do intelligent professional people get tripped up by the trivial?
- Some don’t know any better
- Some have formed bad habits like multitasking
- Some underestimate how long things really take
- Some feel pressured by others to appear busy
Interestingly, all of those may be true, but why not look at a simple solution to this dilemma: Do Less.
How often do we ask ourselves these questions:
- Choose activity on my list could I just say no to?
- Who could I ask to handle something to free me up?
- Where would I spend my time if I weren’t so busy today?
I ask clients every week to choose a new priority and replace an old habit. This week, upgrade your priorities and do less busy work so you can actually accomplish more!