The Crazy Badge of Honor

Busy is a badge of honor in business circles. But, running around like a chicken with its head cut off isn’t a sign of importance. We falsely believe that busyness reflects significance.

“Crazy busy,” – all the time – is crazy.

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The “too busy” assessment:

  1. I remember when I felt on top of things.
  2. I wake up refreshed and ready to face the day.
  3. I feel like things are falling through the cracks.
  4. Time to reflect? What’s that?
  5. The last time I spent a day unplugged was ____ weeks/months ago.

3 dangers of busy:

  1. Confusing busy for significance. The opposite may be true. The busier you are the less meaningful your life becomes. Significance, like deep relationships, takes time.
  2. Investing in trivialities and urgencies. The “fire fighter” leader misses the point. Leaders do what matters. There’s often a difference between urgent and significant.
  3. Losing yourself, the greatest tragedy of all.

7 ways to overcome crazy busy:

  1. Stop blaming others for your busyness. When did you become so helpless? Own it.
  2. Say, “Can it wait until this afternoon,” when someone rushes in with a crisis. Give space for people to solve issues on their own.
  3. Delegate repeated activities. Successful leaders become less, not more, essential.
  4. Prioritize. “Crazy busy” is leadership without priorities. What’s important today? Make a list of three must-dos for today.
  5. Start saying, “No,” based on priorities, values, vision, and mission.
  6. Schedule a quiet day or weekend.
  7. Commit to build a legacy not a tragedy.

Bonus: Schedule some form of quiet time every day to reconnect.

Don’t confuse lack of activity with finding sanity. Labor to enter rest. Schedule it. Plan it. Execute on a rest initiative.

3 quick tips:

  1. Take several short breaks during the day.
  2. Close the door to your office.
  3. Answer email at the top of the hour or once in the morning and once in the afternoon.

How might leaders manage crazy busy schedules?

What might you do today to find sanity in a crazy busy world?