Monthly Archives: May 2015

Feeling Guilty for Not being Busy?

“I am too busy.”  “I have so much to do so little time.”  “I am always running around and not sure what I have done or accomplished.”  There are a many more phrases that I hear all the time.  Most of the time it’s filled with much confusion and a tinge of regret.  The tinge of regret usually stems from a sense that all the activities that we are busy doing does not amount to much or is not aligned with our life goals.  Even if we are not clear on what our life purpose is, each of us know when something is not sitting right deep inside.

How many of us wish that we can stop running around like little hamsters or mice on the wheel?  The faster we run, the faster the wheel goes and its endless.  There is seemingly nothing we can do to get off it, at least without being flung into some direction from all that momentum.  To imagine some breathing room is like paradise.  However, for those who enjoy the sound of “I am very busy.” or just love the adrenalin rush of being running about, could it be because you are driven by a feeling of being guilty if you were now NOT busy?

Have you defined your life by how busy you are or can be?  What if you took stock of your life and stripped off “busy-ness”, what would your life look like now?  What priorities would you put in place instead?  Do you have things that you could now do that you might enjoy?  Would you spend more time with the people that you love and enjoy spending time with?

Each of us have 24 hours in a day.  How we spend it is entirely up to each of us.  What we fill our time with should be in our control.  Is that true?  What if, it is in your control to NOT be busy but be fulfilled?  What if you could get off the wheel?  How would you get off?

I would suggest the following:

1.  Don’t feel bad or guilty for not being as busy as the people around you.  Don’t compare.  Don’t judge.  Be prepared to stand your ground and make the decisions that are right for you.  Once we start to compare and think that there is something wrong with not having as much to do as the next person, we are getting back on the wheel again.

2.  Know what’s important to you.  Know your priorities and goals.  Focus on them and focus your activities to achieve it.  Your life journey is unique to you and you have a part to play in this world.  Be true to live the life that you are born to.  Don’t settle for someone else’s expectation of you as it will never fully satisfy you.

3.  Take stock and be self critical.  Like spring cleaning to declutter and to detoxify, we need to stop and take stock.  Check to see if the activities that we are doing align with our values and goals.  Some times we need to let go of some activities so that we can pursue something else.  Each session brings about new experiences and growth.  To embrace something new, there is a need to let go of the old.

I decided some time back that I was going to live my life differently.  This was due to an experience many years ago when I thought that I was going to die in an explosion that took the lives of 2 my colleagues.  I felt that with this new lease of life that God has given me, it must amount to something more than just the rat race.  I learned to prioritize, focus and stay the course.  I wanted to impact positively those around me, I wanted to inspire growth in others.  As a result, I have been focus on ensuring that I am not “busy” with activities that do not bring about impact.  Getting off the wheel was hard but well worth it.

No time like the present to think about it.

Continuous Improvement Workshop – Success

Participant Photo

We just completed a series of workshops around continuous improvement via feedback at the end of April 2015.  The workshop was centred around the book that Salwana and I authored entitled “Give Receive Improve:  A Manager’s guide to continuous improvement.”  The goal of the workshop to equip leaders with a desire for continuous improvement using the gift of feedback.  Feedback techniques in both giving and receiving and steps to take to make the necessary improvements.

There was a great many sharing and learnings throughout the workshop and above all, learning can be fun.

Some feedback from the participants:

“The contents are very powerful and applicable to people who wants to be good manager or high achiever in the organisation”

“It’s a very hands on approach which gives us the opportunity to be more involved and learn through role play”

“This course gave me the idea on the proper way to give/receive feedback and take necessary steps to improve”

“Excellent and easy to understand.  Well delivered”

Thank you to all the participants, it was great fun for us and we learned a whole ton as well.

If you would like to know more about the workshop, please connect with me.

Routine or structure to enable action

Routine or structure is a powerful tool to enable and to support action to take place.  Each of us has a routine.  A daily routine that that keeps our day going.  We know what we need to do and when we need to do it as well as with whom we are meeting with.  Routine helps us to manage our time, resources and energy in order to complete or achieve a goal.

We use various methods to remember or record our routine, ranging from old fashion diary to electronic calendaring system and even reminders.  Consider routine as a set of structures that we put in place to help us achieve goals and changes.   Hence, it becomes clear that in order for us to make improvements, changes or achieve new goals, we  need to consider the structure that needs to be created to support us.   Without having structures in place, any plans or desires that we might have, will have the remotest chance of success.  Having an action plan without placing structures such as time, people and other resources is just a plan on a piece of paper.

What are some of the things that we can consider as structures to support us achieving our goals?  Ask yourself:

  • What do you need to help you achieve this goal?
  • What are some “structures” or routines that will enable you to achieve this goal?
  • What support do you need?
  • What do you need to change?
  • What behaviour do you need to reinforce?

As an example, I have a goal of learning to play the guitar.  My action plan would be:

  1. Buy a guitar.  Research the best option based on feedback and review and suitable price point.  Structure that I need to have in place is (a) Research on the web, (b) Talk to someone I know who plays the guitar.
  2. Lessons for guitar.  I can decide which method of learning whether through a teacher, friend who knows how to play or even youtube.  Structure that I need to have would be (a)  Talk to friend who plays and get a simple tutorial on how to play, (b) set aside time to learn lessons every week and (c) set aside time to practice everyday.

Putting a routine into place e.g. practice time, will help me achieve my goal of learning to play the guitar.  In order for me to make this real, I need to set aside time in my calender for practice which will create a new routine for me.  I might also need to change some previous routines to enable this new goal to take place.  We are all limited by 2 key resources time and our energy level.  To enable for action, we need to set up structures that will support our achievements without creating chaos.

Think about the structures that you have today.

  • What are their roles?
  • If you want to make improvements, what would it look like?  What changes to you need to make?  What new structures do you need to put in place?
  • What structures are not beneficial that you can remove?