Crippled CEO Blog #086:
We see people always on the move, always in a hurry, always busy, and we think, “That’s success.”
The cause of success and the result of success: constant, non-stop hustling. Picking the phone up every free moment to check and send that email.
And then there’s the cousin to this: the person with the totally booked calendar. Virtually inaccessible. So busy.
We are envious of this. It looks so appealing. And we feel guilty if we aren’t doing the same, so we, too, create ways to be busier.
Because we all know that working hard means getting ahead, and therefore working harder means getting ahead further, and being busy is working.
I’m going to tell you a secret: I’m not that busy. If you call me, I will probably answer. If you want to meet tomorrow or in a couple hours, 70% of the time, I am probably available.
I’m allegedly pretty successful.
So, why aren’t I booked solid with tasks, meetings, and appointments?
The first one is easy to overlook, but arguably the most important. I don’t want to be. While the idea of that does look appealing, in reality, it’s not an enjoyable way to live life.
But besides that, I also don’t think it’s the best way to be successful.
The reality is that you only need to get a few things right. There might be only one or two things in a given day that are really going to move the needle and impact your business. And if you are busy with less important stuff, there’s an excellent chance that you might miss out on the most critical things. Without the breathing room to think, step back, and assess, you might be too stuck in the desert to see the cacti. Or however that saying goes. Getting stuff done is great, but if it’s not stuff that’s truly pushing things forward, you might actually be better off doing nothing, and not wasting the energy and mental bandwidth that may have led to an important new idea.
And this is hard to do. It’s especially hard when you have your phone with you 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
The other big benefit to not being fully booked every hour of every day is you leave yourself open to meetings and opportunities and conversations that could be far more worthwhile than the things you put in that space just to fill your calendar. I can’t tell you how many TV interviews, big clients, and so on I have gotten because I was free right away. Being busy and inaccessible means you are also inaccessible to the occasional random gems life throws at you. Missing out on these isn’t worth looking important to people you don’t like anyways.
So, stop envying the busy people. If you get done the one really important thing that really matters every day, you will soar past them in no time.
(Do you know who always wants to keep me busy? Your mom. And I’m never too busy for her. She’s also never too busy to get my weekly text message. You, too, can get a link to the latest blog each week by sending a message to 484848 with the word CRIP as the body of the text.)