Finding Sanity in an Insanely Busy World
Low impact leaders live frantic, unfocused lives. At the end of the day, they wonder what they accomplished. Busyness isn’t effectiveness.
The more frantic you are the less powerful your impact.
Three C’s for finding sanity:
Clarity. Confused people are frantic. Determine what your life is about and focus on that. Everything else is bullshit.
We all do stuff that matters less. Keep moving toward what matters more. But, if you don’t know what matters most, you can’t move toward what matters more.
- What matters most exists in the distant future. Live in the moment with an eye on the future.
- Vision always centers on people, not projects, products, or programs.
- Clarity requires simplicity. Describe your hopes and dreams in one coherent, actionable sentence.
Courage. Fearful people are frantic. They can’t say no to “good” stuff so they can pursue “great” stuff. Courage requires clarity.
Saying no, so you can say yes to something better, is a process.
Consistency. Focus is nothing without consistency. Consistently focus on what matters. We had a dog who loved chasing mice. I’d turn a board over and he’d dive in. He couldn’t focus on one so he seldom got any.
It’s not always about doing less.
It’s about doing more of what matters.
I cringe when leaders say, “I need to do less.” It may be true. But, it’s more likely they don’t have clarity of purpose, courage for no, and consistency of focus.
Living by priorities begins with determining:
- Values. What matters to you?
- Strengths. What activities give you energy? Do the Strengths Finders assessment.
- Vision. Where do you want to apply your strengths to achieve fulfilling results.
Leaders who wonder what they got done, didn’t engage in meaningful activities. You remember what matters.
Everything you need to know about getting a grip on time is contained in three words.
How are you doing more that matters?
First of all, LOVE the pic. I would add collaboration (or cooperation). Frantic people are often frantic because they’re trying to do it all themselves, or won’t ask for the help they need.
Thanks Karin. I use morgueFile.com because the pics are free. Not the best selection, which forces me to get creative.
Great add. You bring to mind the problem of “needing” to be busy so that we feel important – one reason we don’t collaborate/delegate/or cooperate.
“It’s about doing more of what matters most.” Oh yeah. Sounds easy but it isn’t.
Sometimes I find myself filling my time with minutia, because the next step I have to take on what matters most is a difficult step.
Maybe this isn’t politically correct but it sure helps me…
My favorite two lines in my favorite prayer are:
“Show me the steps to take
AND GIVE ME THE COURAGE TO TAKE THOSE STEPS”
Having the courage to take those steps will keep us moving forward on what matters most.
Thanks Dauna. I often think, as I’m typing, how easy these words appear on the screen and how hard they are to implement.
It takes more courage to do what matters than to do what doesn’t. I see that everyday in my own life.
Sounds like the Serenity Prayer!!
SP. see my initials??? Huh hmmm!
Very well said.
I try to stay cool as a cat with a proactive attitude rather than a reactive one.
Reactive leaders have a much harder time finding sanity.
Thanks John. Love the “cool cat” illustration. I’ve been trying to be one all my life. 🙂
Reacting seems to lead to insanity, at least in large doses. All leaders need to react quickly when things change. But, a life of reacting is nuts.
Yes Sir, little doses can keep you sharp and large doses create insanity. Look at the Bankers jumping to their deaths in the last week. INSANITY
My best days are when I start at work with 15 min of meditation (I use The Headspace service) to help me be present, calm and focused for myself and those I come into contact with.
I also sometimes pick my top 3 things to stay focused on for the day and put them on the side of my monitor with stickies. Great satisfaction to crumple them up at the end of the day when they each get done.
I, as well have a ritual in the morning to get my mind focused on the day. It works very well.
I like how you are AWARE of your energy and how it really effects others through the day.
Hey James I can help with that.
Can create your goals in audio/video form if you want.
Why this format?
Listen retain 10%
Read retain 25%
Listen and read at the same time retain up to 50%.
Proof? Next time you eat, punch your nostrils. Notice how it decreases experience.
That is the degree we cut off the learning experience using one sense at a time when attempting learning!
Two senses are better than one. I help folks with dat!!
Let me know if I can help you.
Free for now, but not for long!!
Lol meant pinch your nostrils!!!!
Thanks James. I love the idea that “not doing” for a short time enriches our doing. A few minutes of quiet may be the simplest way to overcome frantic leadership.
There is a difference between being frantic and being busy.
Dan, now were talking!!!!! Great stuff today in my opinion based on my experience!!!!! Rang the bell in my head today.
I feel what folks can do is commit everyday to living, loving, mattering.
Part is maturing, ya know mega wealthy folks when they get all that money, they find it ain’t what they expected.
Look at Bill Gates. He and wifey are going to give all the money away pretty much.
So the dealio is about fulfillment, not amounts of money, stupid!!!!!! Lol
Thing is too when paradigms shift all stuff preceding it, useless.
95% of Leadership material is total crap. That is the truth. Proof? 80% of USA employees feel disengaged at work. Remember definetion of Leadership??? Simple, followers!!!!
80% of the folks ARE not following these BOZOES!!! How clearer can I possibly make it? Wake up, smell the java!!!
Thing is that is GREAT!!!! Means we need LEADERS!!!! Real Leaders not egotistical idiots!!!! we amready got loads and loads of them! Be the change you desire!!!!
In the next 18 months something like the number of people connected on the intraweb is gonna go from like 25% to 75%!
This represents opportunity we have never seen in the history of the world!
Know this! Understand being a Leader has never been more important or more opportunity to be one.
Just be sure and dump the crap that don’t work! Basically all of it. You do not like that I get it, but the numbers do not lie!!! The truth will set you free but first it is gonna piss you off!!!
Get pissed and get busy learning Effectiveness.
The time for change is NOW and you can do it, we can do it but not retreading crap that did not work.
Find the 2014 ways that work. Study, learn apply! Get what you learned out there cause 75% connected on the intraweb creates opportunity for Effective, not repeating what does not work!!!
Bottom line. Lead with three questions asked everyday!!!
Today did I
And one overriding thought guiding every thought, word and deed.
“We all need each other”
SP back to producing oxytocin
Thanks Scott. “We all need each other” … I often need that mental shift. Good call.
Outstanding post! Thanks for your insight.
Dan, thank you for this post. It is very timely for me.
Best wishes Diana.
Speaking of insanity in a clinical sense, emergency rooms can legally hold persons who are frantic on a psychiatric hold known as a 5150. Most often these persons pose a danger to themselves or others.
What’s most important for purposes of this post is why most of these persons are generally interned on the 5150 for only 24 or 48 hours and then released: They suffer from “situational” doubt, fear and anxiety.
Doubt is most often the source of powerlessness. To doubt is to be without belief. When we doubt, our self-talk sounds like this: I don’t think I can. I don’t think I will. To doubt is to believe in the worst possible outcome. It is to believe in the perverse and the negative that even if we do well, something uncertain or unknown will get in the way, sabotage us, or get us in the end.
We must believe in ourselves, in who we are, what we do, what we say, and to whom we say it. Know that there is “something” inside us greater than any obstacle. It is from this foundation of inner trust that we enjoy personal and professional fulfillment…a sense of completeness.
There was a bright young girl on a 5150 who asked: “Hey, doc, give me three things right now to think about that will make me feel better.”
Knowing the girl was intelligent and was not B-A-N-A-N-A-S, the doc said:
1) What we all fear most is…to be blamed, judged, or disbelieved.
2) What people “know about themselves inside” upsets them.
3) If we are depressed, we are living in the past. If we are anxious, we are living in the future.
Thanks Rick. One of the real joys of writing this blog is the diversity of perspective in the comments. I could never have imagined a medical/psychological angle on this post. But you bring it!
The other thing I love is how you connect doubt with being frantic. Couldn’t agree more. When we doubt our value, we have to run around proving to others we have value. One way we do that is by filling our lives activities.
Does (my) frequent commenting allow me to encourage you to choose a better term than “bullshit?” When we lead we lead across all disciplines of life.
Thanks Ken. You and my wife completely agree with each other. Much appreciated.
You have my respect.
We should also assist in sanity. What matters less to you may matter more to someone else. Don’t be a hindrance to someone else’s sanity.
Thanks alex. .. good call. Accepting others, includes accepting different values. Leaders work toward “sane” environments. That includes clarifying responsibilities where teamwork is necessary.
Of course, organizational values should create alignment between individuals. Shared values bind us together.
This is blog is full of great truths we can all learn and benefit from. I appreciate the wisdom!
A lengthy email here… Please read it if you have the time.
I’m a daily reader of your blog. I must not be managing my energy very well because I’m stuck at home, in bed, with the flu. Being unable to focus on work effectively, I spent yesterday going through all of your archived blog posts. What a motivator to get well…
Now too the point. I have a dilemma about sharing your blog with my other senior managers at our company.
You teach us to share knowledge, ideas, and always keep in mind the effort of the man sweeping the floor. I do these things at many levels and all for the right reasons.
Unfortunately, I don’t want to share your blog to my peers because it’s simply a “great daily shot of the good stuff”. Try and understand that I use it most everyday and it plays a supporting role in my personal bag of leadership tricks.
Having moved quickly into a non-titled leadership role in just in 18 months at our company, you could say the environment is changing rapidly. I was initially brought in to create a simple position to help with inventory. It was sink or swim. No training, so I just became focused on process. 6 months later, what I found was a 20 year old company on life support. (The owner is a drunk- now in recovery, embezzlement was taking place- sheriff took care of that, but there’s more of that taking place with in the sales office still to be confronted, and employees cower with low-self esteem because they’ve been screamed at for years. It’s been a toxic environment for years and I aim to change that using “Service” as my word of the year. It’s going well so far.
Now please understand that I embody (or at least try) just about everything you write about. You’re able to articulate in words what I generally know as truths in my heart and as such they are being applied.. and the result is people are following,.. They’re following me. So thank you for that.
Some advice please? I know you’ll be objective as possible. Would you pass along one of your favorite tools in your bag of leadership tricks? Or do you keep some still close to your vest. Please understand your blog is a daily part of my routine, no different then walking the floor of inventory.
I’m hesitant to share, because it’s not broken so don’t fix it. By the same token, my senior managers all lack the emotional intelligence, of which your blog usually makes a bullseye. Emotional Intelligence, plus the courage to come in and rock the boat hard is why I’m successful.
This may seem petty, or not important. Regardless, I’d like an opinion from you.
Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Keep up the great work.
Chris hear ya dude!
Listen 5 years ago this fella Brendon Bruchard was going thru bankruptcy.
His gal pal came to their apartment and had to slip under the bills piled on the bed.
That was Brendons defining moment according to him. He has a book called The Charge, you can buy one for bout 7 bucks, just shipping and handling on his youtube channel. I bought one this morning there.
I am following HIS path. He has this great thing too called Experts Academy. Google it. Hope one day Dan can get him on here for us.
Nobody rocking the Internet like this dude, nobody. He did 4.9 million bucks from bankrupt in 18 months. His company will do 20 million this year.
You can get advice from well meaning folks and not accomplish a dang thing.
Or choose a dude to model getting awesome life changing results.
Now I know money is not everything and won’t buy you happiness. I get it! I get rid of mine faster than I can get it!! Lol
Money does tho put one in a much better bargaining position AND if you still got problems after a big o pile of money you can afford a most excellent therapist!!!! Hehe. Plus most folks who talk down about money do so cause they ain’t got any!
Anyway the world in the next 18 months to 5 years is going to drastically change. 3 billion more people will get connected.
What if you started RIGHT now figuring out some kind of a way you could help say 5000 of those 3 billion people?
If you can provide a benefit to them you most certainly can ask for a small fee.
I am telling you Chris, if we lived in a small town and 3 billion people moved in can you imagine the possibilities to make it with a business? How could we fail?
Brendon has all kinds of free videos to see what I am talking about. Just look for free!
He is one if the most down to earth authentic people I have ever learned from. Hope you check him out.
I am starting my own thing. Getting a 30 day workbook compiled by a great gal on freelancer for 63 dollars.
I stumbled across a way to get stuff to stick in our brains better. Up to 68% retention. That can help people, right?
So I am going to help people with their goals. A 30 day workout.
Only gonna work with 12 folks to start. Giving 12 slots away for free. Then I will start charging. You want a free spot let me know, gladly include u. Only 12.
I am really telling you this cause if I can do something like this anybody can!! You just have to realize 80% of employees feel like you do!!!!
It AIN’T gonna change!!!! So GET OUT!! You will not ever win the battle, ever!!!!! So find another battle, reason you are willing to die for!!!! I did!!! You can too!!!!
There are 3 BILZiON new potential customers waiting on you to figure how to share something with some of them!!!!! Figure out what that is out get it out there!! 5k out of 3 billion and u are rich!!!!!!! It is all a numbers game!!! 5k out of 3 billion a number u see is doable??? I do!!!!!!!
Got to start somewhere! My first attempt made 165.00 dollars!!! I ain’t bragging Chris, I ain’t quitting!!!!!!! You feeling me?
I got 18 months to practice and WHAM!!! 3 billion new folks googling for the first time!! Get busy getting something to help them with, not trying to get people who are NEVER going to listen to you, never going listen to you. Nicely if I can, get it through your head they are NEVER gonna listen!!!!
All the traditional advice you get…..if that advice works how come 80% of employees still feel like you, me?
You realizing the value of well meaning advice YET??? Folks mean well their advice just don’t work. Truth will set u free but first piss you off.
In any case I wish you nothing but what you dream in your heart most.
Brilliant. One of your better posts. This is one that I shall keep close to heart. I am now “one my own”, and I need this clarity and simplicity in my life. It was different when I was a corporate leader
I have too much to do and I am learning to outsource my tasks to others. And it works! Can highly recommend to outsource more. Also, I am reviewing my mission pretty often, making sure that it still feels ok within me. It’s reminder that helps me to keep me out of busyness when I am deciding what to work on and who to help. Thanks for a good blog post 🙂
Thank you so much for a reminder. I definitely appreciate the ‘clarity’! If you don’t know what you need/should be working on, it’s just busy work that you are doing…not that important stuff. I need to figure out what is important/significant and then work on that!
Reblogged this on frijasroxanne and commented:
I can relate to this so I chose to re-blog it. I’ve been productive all day, then maybe there’s a next time for exertion of more efforts to my posts. Have a week that’s full of blasts!