Great Work Provocations – Busy-ness

Another thought prompted by Great Work Provocations from Box of Crayons.

“Busy” isn’t much of a measure of success. Next time, when someone asks you, “How are you doing?”, what could you tell them that would be something to be proud of?

I’m surprised, amazed and bemused about the way that people view ‘busy-ness’ as a badge of honour.  It seems to me that it’s right up there with ‘hours of work’ as a false indicator of achievement.  There seems to be a sense that if you work long hours, and are ‘busy’, then it’s acceptable to miss deadlines, produce low quality work and screw up in a wide variety of ways.

At the root of this problem – as I see it – is distraction.  I don’t doubt that people are putting vast amounts of energy into what they are doing, but without focus, they’re failing to deliver.

Mark Sanborn has something interesting to say on this:

“The anaesthesia of our time is busy-ness… Leaders know the difference between activity and accomplishment, and usually you accomplish more when you do less… when you do the right things.”

Doing less to achieve more?  I can buy into that!


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