“It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?’

Henry David Thoreau

A study in Harvard Business Review reported that 90% of managers waste their time on stuff that makes no difference to their company.

Why isn’t this a performance management issue?

It is of course because they rush from the unnecessary to the irrelevant with such gusto that no one could consider them slack. Unfortunately no one pauses to consider if all the rushing is beneficial or if they are actually doing anything at in in between.

The fact that they rush between tasks that need not be done while at the same time over looking all the tasks that are critical to the success of the company is a double cut to company productivity. Life moves so fast in modern workplaces. Who has time. Much is lost in the flurry of life. The key to success is not to generate the storm, but to be the calmness at its centre. This is undoubtedly more effective than rushing about but, it carries risk. We are programmed to think that activity is good, therefore hyperactivity must be excellent so if you stop and watch (i.e. try to be effective) you might be singled out as a lazy good for nothing.

Better to rush here and there with the silliest chickens.

Busyness is the honour badge that I don’t care to earn. I grew out of pointless sometime ago. Now I look out for extra. I carve it out wherever it lurks. I’ve slowed down now. I’m more mindful, deliberate, and considered. My actions stem from deep wisdom. I listen to the core of my being only acting once I know what is right. I am more effective because I focus on the tasks that make the greatest difference.

 Ask why you rush? Are you doing extra or just doing everything fast and poorly? Is this task most important? Is there a way to complete this more simply and really deliver more?

Leave flitting for the silly birds on Twitter.

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