When I opened my business, I didn’t quite recognize that it was my responsibility to create the framework for each day.
With no one else telling me what needed to get done, I was great at creating interesting projects for myself.
At first it was fun.
Over time, I had more than I could get done in a 40-hour workweek.
My solution: Work more hours.
I would get up early – and didn’t stop working until after 6 pm.
I often worked on Saturday and Sundays too.
And the more I worked, the more projects I drummed up – and still wasn’t getting it all done.
So I thought I needed to be more efficient, and went back to my Frankin-Covey system, categorizing all of my tasks.
Then, I hired an assistant for my assistant!
Yet, it still wasn’t enough to get through all of my work.
Because I couldn’t see what the real problem was, I secretly thought I just wasn’t smart enough to be in business.
I mean how could I be coaching leaders and teams of executives if I couldn’t get my own work done?!?
The problem is often not the problem. The problem is how you look at the problem.
The problem wasn’t the work I was doing or my efficiency.
The problem was what lens to use when reviewing and choosing what to do.
I had concentrated on being efficient to accomplish all of my great ideas versus examining each great idea first to see whether it fit into my bigger vision.
Feeling exhausted, I knew something needed to change.
I kept looking and looking at all of my projects and what I was sharing with my clients about making themselves a priority and suddenly the light bulb went off.
My values of freedom, fun, and flexibility were nowhere to be found in the soul-crushing machine I had created.
By focusing on how to get more done in less time, I was burning myself out – and I wasn’t a whole heck of a lot of fun to be around anymore.
I recalled an article about karoshi, the Japanese word that means “death from overworking” – and thought, “Oh, my goodness. I get this.”
This intimate understanding of overworking is why one of the 7 Pillars of Leadership I teach at Design Your Destiny Live is– Live Your Priorities. This pillar is about getting the right things done by focusing on the power of one.
When you choose to focus on one thing, you choose the lens of effectiveness vs. efficiency — and you actually get more accomplished.
You also enjoy freedom, fun, and flexibility.
You get to live in the here and now, fully present to the people you love most and the work you are blessed to do.
You get to enjoy the gift of spaciousness where you can take advantage of new and exciting opportunities if you want – or simply rest and relax.
You get to choose—have ownership of– where to focus your time and energy so that you get the biggest return on your investment.
Vision includes quality of life!
When you review your vision, commitments and values, are they aligned and do they include quality of life?
The Upside Challenge of the week is to choose one area in which to focus using the lens of effectiveness rather than efficiency. Take action accordingly. You might be surprised by how good it feels.
People follow the person first, then their great plan.
Be a leader worth following – one that isn’t overworked or running on empty.
The world needs you and your brilliance.