Busyness: Control–or be Controlled

OverwhelmedLast November I wrote a two-part blog on busyness. The subject is again on my radar because the most popular response I get when I ask people how they are doing is, “I’m busy.”

Recently, I told a friend who gave me that very answer: “I hope you are controlling your busyness rather than being controlled by your busyness.”

The person was surprised by my comment, as if they had not thought about whether they were in control of their busyness or if it was controlling them. As I thought about my answer and the person’s response, I began wondering about how many of us are being controlled by our busyness rather than controlling it. I wonder if many of us have even realized that we can control our busyness.

Let me suggest a couple things that can lead to your busyness controlling you.

When Life Gets Too Busy, Meaningful Relationships Die

Cellphone familyWe live in a fast-paced culture in the United States. We are constantly busy going places in person or online, without enough time to do all we desire.

These days, I see a lot of families eating out due to their busy schedules. It also seems to be the norm for everyone to have their heads buried in their electronic devices while they wait on their food. There is more conversation with the server than among family members.

This fast-paced life has contributed to the demise of meaningful relationships in our lives. We either do not know how to connect in a meaningful way, or are not willing to take the time to do so, because the process is too slow. Instead we Facebook, tweet, Instagram, snapchat, WeChat, WhatsApp and Pinterest our relationships. Some of us will more quickly answer a text than return a phone call because it is too time consuming. And sadder still – many of us wear that sentiment as a badge of honor.

Don’t Lose Your Way

Photo credit: Mike_tn / Foter / CC BY-NC-NDReality check: Some leaders will lose their way. As a result, their leadership will either be badly damaged or completely destroyed. For some, much hard work will be required to restore their role as a leader; others may never be given another opportunity to lead.

So the question arises: Are there steps that you as a leader can take that will keep you from losing your way?

Providing Helpful, Negative Feedback

ConversationProviding negative feedback may be beneficial or harmful depending on how and by whom it is given. Most of us do not enjoy giving or receiving negative feedback. Yet without the benefit of negative feedback we usually fall way short of realizing our fullest potential.

As objective as we think we are, and as honest with ourselves as we try to be, still we are unable to become our best unless we are able to effectively give and receive helpful, negative feedback.

We all have been around people, family, friends, work colleagues or the person in line at the grocery store who needed some helpful, negative feedback, but we weren’t sure how to go about giving it.

Last week we looked at some of the reasons we fail to give negative feedback. Now let’s look at how we might go about giving negative feedback in a helpful way.