It doesn't matter if we're catching up about work, life, or family; the response is always the same: "Things are really busy." In general, but specifically for managers, it's troublesome that this is everyone's response.
At some point, our culture started using busyness as a gauge for success. If you're busy, things must be going well. If you're not, something must be wrong with you. So, it's safe to say that pathological busyness has become the merit badge of honor.
Unfortunately, it is also the one thing that is keeping managers from concentrating on their people. As a result, employees are going undermanaged, relationships are suffering, and issues tied to miscommunication are on the rise.
To be effective as a manager takes the one thing all hurried people don't have--time. I wanted to share a thought with you that was recently shared with me:
It's not about the speed in which you live, but the significance.
In other words, eliminate the need to hurry, and you'll increase your capacity to lead and influence others.
Sometimes, we can get so caught up in "maximizing" a moment that we miss it altogether.
To get more done, we intentionally jam-pack our days with so many tasks and meetings that we are always jumping from one thing to the next. Unfortunately, to create more margin, it's usually our teams that suffer. If we're not canceling meetings, then we're giving off signals that we're too busy for our employees.
We're flying through work and life so quickly that we're not mentally present to notice the needs of our team.
Employee one-on-ones are a prime example. We squeeze them into windows without the necessary time to prepare, thus minimizing the opportunity for valuable conversations. As a result, most standing meetings end up getting rescheduled or removed altogether.
Before you take on another task, you have to ask yourself, am I effective? Or, am I only going through the motions to check a box?
Don't seek to be busy. Seek to be intentional. Say no to the less important, delegate, know your triggers, and, for heaven's sake, slow down. Instead of having to incessantly tell people your busy, seek to create bandwidth and make time for the moments that matter.
Busyness gives the allure of success. However, when you peel back the layers of tasks and responsibilities, effectiveness is often hard to find. Spend more time managing deliberately, and you'll have a far more significant impact on the success of your team.