I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the formula for failure, which is: Try to please everybody. – Herbert Swope
Busy: a word most leaders know all too well. My schedule for this fall is completely maxed out, there simply is no time and I am sure a lot of you can relate. I have tried to block time for my family, I have tried to block relaxation time and I am very focused on getting exercise this fall, so I blocked time for that too.
This means I can no longer meet new obligations, I would love to but I have already allocated my time. I would have to disappoint somebody else, or hurt myself, my organization or my family and that is something I am not willing to do.
My natural inclination when somebody asks of my time is to reply with, “Oh sure I’ll figure it out,” and I have got to stop myself from doing that. It is people pleasing and just because there is a request does not mean we are required to meet it. As leaders, we are working too hard, saying yes too often and self-inducing levels of stress to simply try to keep up with a pace that is unsustainable.Let’s stop glorifying busy and over-stressed and start managing our time better. Click To Tweet
It is a bit like the first time I ever used a teleprompter. You look at a screen, you read what is on the screen, which seems like an easy thing to do but the faster I talked, the faster the screen went. When I got done the teleprompter operator said, “I could barely keep up with you, you talk really fast.”
It was not until later that it finally dawned on me; I was determining and setting the pace. It felt like he was changing the pace and speeding up the words, when in fact I was completely wrong. I was in control of the pace, and yet I felt completely out of control, and a victim of somebody else’s decisions.
That is what often happens with leaders who do not learn to say no, who are not focused on scheduling and blocking time out. We forget that, just like the teleprompter, we are dictating the pace. Being over-committed and over-stressed can literally be fatal to your life. As leaders, we are the example. Let’s stop glorifying busy and over-stressed and start managing our time better.
Question: What area can you cut back on your calendar?