Do you have someone in your life or your business that always seems too busy to have a moment with you? They rush around from appointment to appointment, rapidly checking their smart phone, shooting off texts and emails like a six-gun wild west outlaw. All the while they appear overwhelmed, over-worked and over-stressed about the incredible amount of tasks they have on their already over-loaded plates? I always find it interesting that somehow these same people always seem to have just a quick second to remind you of just how busy they are.
Look, I get it. The pace of the modern workplace combined with the pace of modern life has challenged all of us to be more productive, to do more with less, to work longer hours, in our quest for a successful work life and fulfilling personal life. I’m also sure everyone knows or has come into contact with someone that seems to handle these demands with seemingly little or no effort.
Yet I find these days that so many are creating their own busy lives merely for the sake of being able to say that they are busy. That’s what I call confusing motion with progress.
The other day I was in line to get on an airplane. Suddenly one person in line, for no apparent reason, fished into his pocket, got out his smartphone and started scrolling through his emails. I bet you can guess what the rest of the line starting doing almost as if on cue. Yep, everyone else had to reach into their own pocket, jacket or purse, grab their phone and start demonstrating to the rest of the line that they too were important and had pressing business to attend to.
Now our once pleasant line of weary travelers were all back to some extremely important affairs like checking the latest dancing cat video, conquering the next level of candy crush, updating face-book statuses or finding out which athlete or celebrity has said or done something stupid enough to go viral.
I’m going to make a rather bold statement here. Looking and acting as like you have absolutely no control over your time, your schedule, your business or your life does not impress anybody. Complaining about your workload and how you have so much to do and so little time to do it doesn’t justify your paycheck, or your title, and certainly doesn’t give you an excuse to constantly blow people off, show up late for meetings or quite simply act like a jerk.
The only thing that it really proves is that this person simply isn’t ready or hasn’t developed the tools to handle the responsibility they have been given. The only choice one has when in the situation is to create a situation where they are in a constant and perpetual state of movement. Thus we have an individual that is now “Confusing motion with progress”
Ask yourself this week:
How am I managing my time and my resources?
Where have I gotten into a perpetual state of movement and flux in my business and in my life?
If those around me were interviewed would they say I seem in control of my schedule, and that I have time for them? If not, why not?
Where am I beginning to confuse motion with progress, and what can I do this week to focus on actual progress?
Thoughts for the week:
Multi-tasking… the art of screwing up several things at once. –Unknown
The key is not to prioritize your schedule, but to schedule your priorities.-Stephen Covey
The shortest way to do many things is to only do one thing at a time.– Sir Richard Cecil
There is enough time for everything in the course of a day if you do but one thing once, but there is not enough time in a year if you do two things at once. –Lord Chesterfield in the 1740’s
If women are so bloody good at multi-tasking why can’t they have a headache and sex at the same time? –Unknown
Looking forward to our next conversation
Nice article Tim! I met you a couple of years ago in an airport (can’t remember which one), and I’ve enjoyed reading your blog since then. I’m glad that I didn’t have my nose stuck in my laptop that day we met, or I would have missed the opportunity to connect with you and receive your newsletter. Thanks for your efforts, and keep up the good work!
You and me both! Glad you are still out there.
This is an outstanding article. Really gives me a lot to think about.
I feel in general I make time for others… but not myself or my life partner. Because of how busy I am. Need to rethink this. Hope all is well.
It’s easy to get into habits like this in our digitally connected work environment. The fact that you are considering options is a great start. Cheers!
Hi Tim, Always good to read your comments and one of the few emails I don’t delete immediately. (you rank up there with my golf instruction video which is waay up there) As usual I use your little pearls of wisdom when talking to my crew or as we call it, our “Communication Tree”. I hope it helps them as it has helped me. Thanks.
I probably need you to start forwarding those golf messages you get for my game!
Hey, I just forwarded this to my wife 🙂 Excellent article.
Good luck with that!
Great hearing from you, glad to hear that the article hit home for you.
Thanks for the comment