One of the most significant struggles our clients report is feeling busy beyond belief. From overworked, under-resourced managers to busy working parents, to business owners who are struggling to stay above water, we know that people are busy and stressed.
What can you do?
It can certainly help to take a break over the weekend or get out with friends for an evening, but to really make a dent in your busy-ness factor, you will need to start engaging in behaviors that can change the rhythm and course of your life. What are those things?
1. Step into your leadership.
- We know that sounds like more work but here’s the thing, if you are doing, doing, doing then you are not taking a moment to pause and ask yourself,
- “Is what I am doing in my life in alignment with my goals?”
- It’s a powerful question to help you get above the day-to-day to assess if you are putting your time into what really matters to you.
- Consider the things that hook you into running at high speed and ask yourself,
- “What is going on inside me right now? What am I afraid of? What would I do if I felt safe?”
- These are questions that help you shift your mindset.
- If you felt safe and effective would you ask for help? Would you delegate something off your plate? Would you set a limit on a demanding colleague or family member?
- Next, consider how to make some shifts in your current patterns.
- Look for the possibilities that are inherent in the obstacles and challenges you face.
- Let people who can support you know why change is important to you.
- Talk deeply with them to come up with a goal or vision for a new way of getting things done.
- Take action with support from the people who are supporting you.
- Express gratitude for where they are helpful and share ideas for how they can be more effective.
2. Seek coaching, mentoring, support.
- It is often very hard to see how you can do things differently when you’re busy doing, doing, doing. Even as you are stepping into your leadership, you will likely need the support of a trusted other as you work to create new patterns and rhythms.
- Consider starting a group of like-minded friends or colleagues; ask a friend, minister, or colleague to help you move forward; or seek out the support of a professional coach or ally.
- Remember, it’s hard to see the forest when you are trying to find your way through the trees.
3. Think of your career as a journey.
- Many of our clients get caught in believing they have one shot at a promotion or an opportunity and while sometimes that is true, more often than not you will have multiple opportunities over the course of your career to move toward work that matters to you.
- Career Leadership, as we are calling it, is that shift from thinking about this single moment to thinking about your career over your lifetime. It’s about:
- Identifying what you bring to the table that adds value.
- What is needed by employers (yours and others).
- How to talk about yourself and present your contributions so that people know who you are and how you add value.
- How you stay aware of possibilities that fit your needs as you evolve and grow.
This week, we invite you to consider how you can step more fully into leading in your own life, where you can get support, and how you can shift to thinking of your work life as a journey that you shape and navigate as your interests and needs unfold.
We have taken the complex, overwhelming work on leadership and management, and teach people the most important nuggets so that they have the opportunity to grow into their leadership. We’ve done the research and know that one of the best ways to learn is to get small amounts of information along with the chance to practice and discuss the concepts over time. To support people in their learning, the Leadership Lab will provide people with leadership and management nuggets weekly, so that they can have time to learn, practice, and discuss the new concepts within the Leadership Lab community.
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