By | Chris Merrington
With summer almost over and the post-holiday pressure starting to pile up, it’s easy to fall into the trap of becoming a busy fool.
The pressure to run faster can come from many different sources. It might be clients who want everything yesterday or a boss who always want us to deliver more in less time. But for many of us, biggest source of pressure is us – the pressure that we put on ourselves.
Busy-ness is like a disease. It gets worse over time. It’s easy to work more hours than ever before whilst not being as productive as we should be. But working longer and harder is where the disease starts. If we want to avoid becoming busy fools and stay healthy, we need to focus on the right priorities and work smarter.
Stephen Covey talked about the “activity trap” whereby we busily climb the ladder of activity without realising it is against the wrong wall. It’s easy to be too focused on the doing and the implementation and not enough on the outcomes and the end results.
That’s why rushing has become the new normal. Clients make out that a rushed deadline is the most important goal. Yet once the work is delivered, the deadline is often forgotten and the actual result becomes the critical issue. When we rush there is a strong likelihood we won’t produce our best work and we are more likely to make mistakes.