“Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing.” ~ Thomas Edison
Being busy is a good thing. That’s what we’re employed to be, that’s what we employ for, that’s how we prefer to be.
It’s when ‘busyness’ is worn as a badge of honour that issues can arise.
I was speaking with a couple of business leaders just recently who each told me that they hadn’t taken a break for years, they were exhausted and sick of things but their ‘busyness’ prevented them from being able to take a holiday, a weekend or even a couple of hours off a week. Their significant others were not too thrilled with the situation either. But they are indispensable; the business wouldn’t survive without them at the moment. I’m quite sure some of you can resonate with these leaders as I could when I first started my business.
Unfortunately, these conversations are becoming the common theme rather than the exception. With business getting increasingly difficult, competitive and complex the race to keep up almost becomes an adrenaline addiction where if you’re not in it or dare to take a drink stop you’ll lose momentum and the race will be lost.
Leaders are wearing their busyness as a badge of honour as if it validates them as a successful person in business. This is where the danger can arise because what happens when we take the badge off for some down time? Does that mean they’re not successful? Logically we know the answer to that.
Work in whatever form it is for you should have an element of fun to it. If you can’t find two weeks out of 52 or 336 hours out of 8,736 available to you per year then you really need to question your leadership strategy and your business process. If you seriously can’t find 2 weeks a year to recharge and relax you’ll be no fun at work and will bring down others down around you. And that’s a huge issue if you are the leader and you’re dragging your exhausted self around like a wet blanket.
We have to disrupt the pattern of being busy and stop being so proud of it. Start being proud of your ability to stop, rest, and recharge, being a better version of yourself to participate in the race and show others that it’s possible. It is possible regardless of how ‘busy’ you are. You need to change your mindset and emphasise the importance of stopping and understand the benefits of doing so.
Step outside of that comfort zone as all you’ve done is created yourself a busy habit. And that’s not a resourceful one. Balance is the key.