I’ve been noticing a certain trend popping up in our professional circles, one that has me a tad concerned. It’s the badge of honour we seem to have created around busyness. Have you found yourself bragging about your back-to-back meetings, or engaging in friendly banter about who’s busier than whom? Maybe you’re wolfing down lunch while at your desk, skipping loo breaks, or simply forgetting that you, and not your diary, are in control of your time.
Sound familiar? Well, you’re not alone.
I made a post on LinkedIn where I questioned if we’ve become the unwitting nightmares of our own calendars. It’s an idea that hits home in a world where our digital diaries are brimming with tasks, appointments, and reminders. It’s all too easy to forget that we’re the ones in the driver’s seat.
So, what’s the fallout of being in a perpetual state of busyness?
Are you really being productive?
First, let’s chat about productivity. There’s this funny idea that a jam-packed calendar equals maximum productivity. But let’s clear this up: it doesn’t. Productivity isn’t about running around like a headless chicken or ticking boxes. It’s about making meaningful progress and moving the needle. If you’re darting from meeting to meeting without time to prepare or follow up, you’re not boosting productivity; you’re stifling it.
Your reputation; internal and external
Next, consider your reputation. Always appearing flustered or constantly rushing doesn’t make you look important—it makes you look overwhelmed. That’s not a good look and can seriously dent your professional image.
And then there’s the team you lead. Remember, you’re their role model. If you’re burning the midnight oil or setting sky-high expectations, you’re setting the same expectation for them. As leaders, we should promote a healthy work-life balance—not just for us but also for our team.
Now, what’s the magic solution?
Reflection. Yep, that’s right. It’s time to stop, breathe, and reflect. It might sound like a luxury in the fast-paced business world, but trust me, it’s essential.
When you take time out for yourself, you’re giving yourself space to think, evaluate, and plan. It’s like a pit stop in a Grand Prix—necessary for a top performance and to make sure you’re not whizzing around on empty.
And this reflection shouldn’t just be a solo activity. Bringing it into your team meetings encourages innovation, idea generation, and a sense of community. Plus, it makes your team feel more involved, promoting teamwork and boosting overall performance.
Remember, we’re not robots stuck in a cycle of production. We’re human beings, with thoughts, ideas, and creativity. By creating time in our schedules, we’re embracing our humanity in our work.
So, to wrap it up, making time to reflect isn’t about slacking off; it’s about mindful pauses that allow for reflection, growth, and innovation. It’s about reclaiming control over your schedule and embracing the idea that constant busyness doesn’t equal success.
Taking time out allows us to be more human, more productive, and ultimately, happier at work. Remember, time matters. So, make it count! If you need support with this, please get in touch as we’d love to help.