Design Yourself 16: Letting Go of the Busyness Paradigm

Think about it. When was the last time someone asked you how you were doing or how things were going at work and you leaned on this go to answer: Busy! In this episode Sharon shares what happens when we open ourselves up to the possibility of the spontaneous (for her it was a magical trip through Slovakia to discover the hometowns of her Great Grandparents) and also strategies for how to shift out of the default habit of “busy.” May you be surprised by what opens up to you in the process. Cheers!

Ideas Shared:

5 Strategies for Letting Go of the Busyness Paradigm

  1. Stop saying “I’m busy”
  2. Name the real issue
  3. Gather Data
  4. Model ideal behavior
  5. Take a break

  • When discussing the power of naming the real issue, I shared an impactful framework I picked up at a conference recently from Juliet Funt at WhiteSpace at Work. Here are her 4 thieves of productivity:
  1. DRIVE (Shadow side: Overdrive)
    • Ask yourself: Is there anything I can let go of?

2. EXCELLENCE (Shadow side: Perfection)

    • Ask yourself: Where is “good enough” good enough?

3. INFORMATION (Shadow side: Information overload)

    • Ask yourself: What do I truly need to know?

4. ACTIVITY (Shadow side: Frenzy)

    • Ask yourself: What deserves my attention?

Resources and Links:

  • When sharing the importance of gathering data, I recommend this HBR IdeaCast Be A Work-Life Friendly Boss. Hear Scott Behson (author of The Working Dad’s Survival Guide, and professor at Fairleigh Dickinson University) share tips for being a leader who models work life balance.
  • Did you like all those fun facts I shared about vacation on the podcast? That’s the kind of stuff I learned by investing a half-day at that Upside of Downtime 2016 conference which makes the human and business case for taking vacation. If you are interested in learning more, check out the live stream recording. Man, modern technology. 🤔😊
  • If you are digging the idea of taking a break, check out Episode 4 of Design Yourself, where we dive into this topic in depth.