Busyness is a common management mantra, but Dorie Clark, CEO of the behavioural training business HOW, has a message for those working in a relentless “busyness” culture:
Stop saying busyness is an occupational badge of honour.
It has become the next fashion for some people to say they are busy “in the eyes of management” when doing their day-to-day work. When is busyness an occupational badge of honour? What if managers aren’t noticing you because you are busy too? What if work is a form of leisure for your own sake? What if working too much is really robbing you of time?
Are you a busy person or a don’t know person?
Clark: Our world is focused on “busyness” – the power to disrupt, be productive, make work fit around life, and everything in between.
There is a difference between busyness, which at its heart has many positive qualities, and spendiness – poor attention to detail, being depressed by indecision, feeling desperate, not having time to enjoy your life or have meaning – connected to addictive behaviours and ever-increasing hectic activity. It is no surprise to see an increase in people thinking of themselves as “busy”, considering the awareness that that is the only way to be noticed.
So do you have time for yourself? Don’t be a “busyness martyr”
The best advice we have is “do what you love to do and you’ll never work a day in your life”. So do what you love to do?
We do not advise that people stop working to create time for themselves. Trying to work harder doesn’t make time. A widely celebrated study by two psychologists from the University of California, Berkeley, studied the effects of spending an extra 30 minutes on their own reflection. When they put it to the test, they found that people who had a higher than average attention span were able to think through more challenges and hone their reasoning skills.
The truth is, most of us have said during some time that we wish we could spend more time on ourselves, but we cannot do this when we work, or have family and friends to care for. We have a choice and it is better for our health, emotional and professional wellbeing, to do what we love to do, to make time for ourselves. Being busy doesn’t need to be an addiction and don’t be a “busyness martyr”.
Dorie Clark is CEO of WHAT®, where she creates strategies for achieving work and life balance through intentional mindset training. At age 27, she founded HOW* with a principle of “transformational performance through intentional cognition” and has written over 40 books including the New York Times bestselling Young Einstein and The Female Brain. She is now working with business leaders worldwide and featured in the New York Times bestseller You Are Not a Personal PR Tool. Dorie is a fellow of the Institute of Management Consultants (IMC) and member of the IWCC Governing Council.
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