by Patty Azzarello
Chances are, you have no extra time.
A few weeks ago I wrote a post called
WHEN do you think? about the importance of giving yourself time to think strategically.
As we begin the new year, it’s a great time to spend time thinking and planning how to make this year better than the last one — in your work and in your life.
As a leader, it’s critical to not just get the work done, but to make sure that you and your team are more capable next year.
If you don’t grow capability, you get stuck.
Your main job as a leader is to build a highly capable team beneath you so that you free yourself up to solve higher order problems.
You need to always be finding new ways to add value to the business.
But to do that requires you to make sure you have time to do the longer term tasks that build value and capability — things that will create a meaningful, strategic difference.
- How will we improve our ability to get customer references?
- How will we deliver more quickly or at less cost?
- What new process will improve our quality?
- What new behaviors will eliminate chaos in our business and create more time?
- How will we learn more about our customers really care about?
- What new way of serving customers will differentiate us from our competition?
To work at this level requires time.
If you have no time, YOU need to make yourself less busy.
Here are a few realities to consider. I call this my Over-busy Manifesto.
The Over Busy Manifesto
No one other than YOU has any motivation whatsoever to make you less busy. Your boss, your peers and your team only benefit from your endless work output.
If you are overwhelmed by the activities of your job you are not ready for a bigger one.
The most successful people were not the ones who were less busy along the way, they figured out how to rise above it.
The Hard (but important part)
No one will ever give you permission to be less busy. It can feel scary to stop appearing really busy if you associate your value with the amount of time you spend working.
Just know that itâs not the âworkâ that matters, itâs the outcomes you deliver. You donât win the game for running up and down the court, itâs the points on the board that count.
Refuse to burn all your time up on things that are not so important.
Trust that giving yourself time to think will help you find ways to deliver higher value business outcomes, and get the right work done in less time.
People will see you delivering real value, getting smarter and faster, making strategic advances — not just working really hard. It will get less scary.
My New Book
I wanted to give people a useful framework to take more control of their success.
The book is filled with big insights and practical things you can do right away that make all the difference between getting ahead and just working really hard.
You can get the book or take a look at the reviews on Amazon, and here is a short video of me talking about what’s in it.
Please share this with anyone whose career you care about.
Patty Azzarello works with executives where leadership and business challenges meet. She has held leadership roles in General Management, Marketing, Software Product Development and Sales, and has been successful in running large and small businesses. She writes at Patty Azzarello’s Business Leadership Blog. You’ll find her on Twitter as @PattyAzzarello
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Erica Ross-Krieger says
Giving myself permission to be less busy and take time to read Liz’d Blog today, your post, and make a comment:) I especially enjoyed reading the Manifesto. And because I work with entrepreneurs, and am one myself, I’d quote you as having tweaked the Manifesto a bit to fit entrepreneurs and say,
“If you are overwhelmed by the current activities of your own business you are not ready for a more expanded business.”
Can’t wait to read the book and see what other gems I’ll find.
Best of luck on the book promotion,
Andy Hayes says
Ha, this reminds me of that old chestnut: “want to get something done? give it to a busy person.”
Some people get things done. Others don’t.
Are you busy or getting stuff done? Be less busy, get more done. 🙂 (It sounded more logical in my head.)
Patty Azzarello says
Hi Andy and Erica,
Best of luck in your business.
thanks for your comments!