Busyness, which can be a high in the short term, is actually working against us in the long term. Busyness blurs the lines of work and home and throws our boundaries right out the window. It steals our joy because we focus on how much we have to do and our internal competitive drive to get the most done every day. If left unchecked, busyness will evaporate any sense of purpose you may have about your work and the life you live because you can’t allow yourself time to focus on it.

It can leave you stressed out, burned out, and completely overwhelmed. And, if you consider busyness a badge of honor, you might be creating a busy but meager existence because there’s no room or time for anything that means something to you.

Busyness is a perpetual state of existence with having a great deal to do. You become more of what you’re doing and less about who you are. Do you know what means the most to you? What is most important? Take a peek at your calendar and checkbook and see if you’re living up to it. They will tell the tale of what you value most and where you’ve been putting your time and energy.

Are you someone who

  • Needs to do everything yourself. Kids, dinners, events, volunteer, and more?
  • Does things even though you don’t want to do them?
  • Maps out each day with the precision of a wartime general?
  • Gets great satisfaction from getting a lot done; a source of pride?

These can all be great, but moving forward in your leadership and life requires focused action. You can’t do everything; you have to do the right things. It would require you to have mapped out and thought about what you need to do to achieve what you want to achieve, whether you want to get ahead at work or refocus on putting your health first.

So instead of creating a list (and adding things to the list just so you can have the satisfaction of crossing them out – I see you!), it’s thinking about what really needs to be on the list and focusing on that.

So again, what is MOST important to you as a person? Focus on that.

Here are some strategies to keep the main thing, well, the main thing!

Schedule it. Schedule the things that matter to you most – first. Whether you want to make your child’s basketball game or you’re looking to get daily walks in, schedule those first.

Protect it. Think long and hard about anything that bumps up against that time too. Instead of saying yes automatically to something that will bump it off the calendar, you can offer another option. You’re not saying no. You’re presenting another option that honors your commitment to what’s important to you.

Enjoy it. Whatever you’re doing, it’s important to you for a reason; otherwise, you wouldn’t have labeled it so. It is a waste of your energy to feel guilty about where you are and what you’re doing. Enjoy where you are and what you’re doing; you can go back to the other things later.

Remember, you get to say what is important to you. You also get to make choices that move you in that direction or not. So don’t let the distraction of busyness fuel your leadership or your life; it’s a lot of hot air that won’t sustain you for very long.

Choose what matters because that’s what you deserve.

Be well, and here’s wishing you the Clarity (and choices) you deserve!


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