Slowing Down to Speed Up
How Being Busy Hurts Your Progress
“How are you doing?”
“Busy — really busy!”
Have you had a conversation like this recently?
We go from being ridiculously busy during the holidays — to being super busy at the start of the New Year. We’ve got new resolutions, personal goals, and new work objectives and targets to hit. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by it all and feel extremely busy.
Is “busy” what we are striving for? Or is it something else?
Busy does not equal productive. Busy means you are scattered and pushed too thin to be great. You’re bouncing from one thing to the next — and it feels like you’ll never get off the hamster wheel.
We want to make an impact. We want to do bigger and better work. We want to be more effective.
“Busy” gets in the way of impact, it hinders progress, and it kills effectiveness.
So why do we get that way?
Because we tell ourselves that the harder we work, the luckier we get. And this is true — if, and only if, we are working hard on the essential things.
How do we get to what is essential?
By slowing down. By taking time to think. By being intentional about quieting the noises and distractions around us. By meditating.
Those activities are the opposite of busy.
How can adding more things to your to-do list help you become less busy?
Because when you take the time to slow down and think — you discover the really important stuff. And you shed the unimportant. The stuff that really matters comes into focus and the other things just blur into the background.
Who do you know that has a New Year’s Resolution to “do all the UN-important stuff?”
What are you doing to be less busy this year? A great way to start is to find yourself some solitude and stillness. Even ten minutes can do amazing things for your well-being.
P.S. If you’d like to learn more about solitude and stillness, check out Ryan Holiday’s book, Stillness is the Key