Busy, Busy, Busy

The blogosphere gives me a lot of food for thought. It’s amazing how reading one blog post can cause me to think for days, weeks, and even months. The topic of being busy has made the rounds, and two blog posts in particular have really caused me to re-evaluate my own busyness:

1) Busy Isn’t Respectable Anymore by Tyler Wardis

2) Please Stop Complaining About How Busy You Are by Meredith Fineman

After reading these two posts and doing some further research, I’ve started to consider how being busy impacts leaders, using myself as a test case. Here’s the answer I’ve come to: When I have too much on my plate, I am not the best version of myself, and thus I don’t lead in a way that reflects the leader I am striving to be. I lose focus on what matters most to me, and everything suffers. Who creates that reality every. single. time.? ME!

Over the last few months, I’ve really started to listen for the word “busy” and I hear it constantly. Some writers have referred to this phenomenon in terms of busyness being “a badge of honor.” I’m busier than you, so that must mean I’m more important than you. I’ll admit that I’ve been guilty of this flawed way of thinking.

I spend a lot of time with incredible leaders, and I’ve come to realize that all of them could rightfully claim to be busy most of the time. Leaders have a lot on their plates. They have big goals and dreams. They are striving to learn and grow. They are committed to growing other leaders. They are trying to balance work, home, and community commitments. They want to make a positive difference in the world. They want to leave a legacy.

I came to realize that I’ve spent a lot of years glorifying being busy. I liked the energy and excitement that came from an overflowing list of projects and priorities. I liked being a part of so many things I was passionate about. But I hated the cycle of burnout that I created for myself. John Wanamaker said, “Those who do not make time for relaxation are obliged sooner or later to find time for illness.” The truth is that prolonged busyness made me sick and tired. And now I am sick and tired of being sick and tired. 2014 is going to be a year of focus and productivity, but also a year of diligently prioritizing what matters most to me, including faith, family, and friends.

After reading Tyler Wardis’s post Busy Isn’t Respectable Anymore, I decided to give the “busy experiment” a try. Here’s what he plans to do: “For one month, I’m going to stop using the word ‘busy.’ I’m going to resist the comfort of it to try and dig deeper to explain how things really are. If I feel busy, my hope is to be aware enough to discover why and to learn how I can change it.”

I’m in for the “busy experiment.” How about you?

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