Is Being Busy Causing You To Sink

Something I’m hearing a lot from people I contact these days is ‘I or we’re terribly busy’ which is great if it’s all being productive, but I wonder. There are a lot of pressures on us business owners these days, a lot of uncertainty and disruption and it’s very easy to respond by putting our heads down and working all hours. But if you’re a business owner or leader, how should you be working? 

Some questions to consider: 

Is the boat going in the right direction? 

When was the last time you stopped to check? It might be that all that’s needed are some tweaks, but when so much is changing around us, it’s good to make sure. When do you give yourself time to step back and see the bigger picture? What are you missing if you don’t? Do your products still fit the current conditions and what customers want? If you need to innovate, you have to carve out the time and create the right conditions. I don’t get new ideas when I’m under lots of pressure. 

Will it make the boat go faster? 

I love that quote from the men’s Olympic rowing team who used the question to propel themselves from underachievement to winning. A great way of assessing all the requests that come in. 

Should I say no? 

I have found this question particularly helpful recently as like so many others, I’m also very busy. It has made me check my impulses against my priorities – should I try and squeeze in tea with that friend who’s struggling, or can it wait a week or two? That may sound hard-hearted and maybe I am, but I’m also weighing up how to be my best for my clients who also need me, and looking after myself and my health, mental and otherwise. 

What enables you to give of your best? 

My natural tendency is to be the last minute merchant, bad at detail, never reading to the end of a sentence, never mind paragraph. What really helps is to make sure I am ultra-planned and prepared, and oh the peace of mind that brings! Worth all the self-discipline. 

If you read my posts and blogs, you’ll know that here at Next Chapter Retreats, we’re great proponents of stepping back, retreating to advance, and hopefully practicing what we preach. If you want to take some time to consider these questions we can run a tailored retreat for you and your management team, as we did for the ChadSan management team in October last year. 

Get in touch if you’d like to know more. 

Hilary Rowland, Managing Director, Next Chapter Retreats 

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