Sometimes I see kids enjoying the summer…towels around their shoulders, on their way to or from the pool or beach, and I remember what it was like when summer seemed to last forever. Hot days, sprinklers, and lazy nights of relatives drinking coffee after dinner while I got an ice cream soda.
It seems that ever since I’ve become an adult, my pace of life has been more rushed.
I’ve come to realize that there are thoughtful rushes, and mindless rushes. One is very good, healthy, smart and proactive, while the other is reactive, often consists of frenetic activity, and is usually not in our own best interests.
Most successful and happy business owners I know don’t have a lot of free time. They have filled their free time with activities specifically chosen very thoughtfully. They work long hours (although it may not look to work to other people). They reach out for new strategic relationships, they are learning new things, they are thinking, they are exploring.
As Seth Godin would say – they are poking the box (yes, I’m reading the book “Poke the Box” now – highly recommended).
There are informed rushes, and rushing for busy-ness’ sake. We are a society that prizes activity. It can seem that we reward activity for its owns sake…but that’s not how things work. At least, in my experience.
I think most of us know that only inspired activity (in other words, the right activity) activity that we’ve come to recognize is important for your goals – makes sense to do. We should systematize it when appropriate, and reward ourselves for having accomplished it.
An example: if you desire to get into shape – scheduling several workouts a week is smart. Watching videos or reading books on how to get in shape MAY BE a great activity if you are planning on pulling together and executing a new exercise regimen, or it could be a delay tactic. So the motivation behind the activity is extremely important to know if something is worthwhile or a waste of time.
Business owners who are in a growth mode (and why wouldn’t you be?) can seem time-strapped because they don’t have any lack of activities to deploy to meet their goals…or even to help them define a new goal. That’s good. That’s exciting!
- Hiring the right people, & figuring out what training and resources they need
- Reaching out and cultivating new relationships
- Personal development (in both biz and personal realms)
- Choosing what books to read
It’s all wonderful when it’s thoughtful. The rub is we can’t make thoughtful decisions about what activities make sense and which are to be avoided unless we are very clear about our goals.
If we aren’t very clear on our goals, our only rush should be to nail those down.
Once we are very clear on our goals, we can find that there really are enough hours in the day.
And that’s a rush.