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Risky busy-ness: Do less and accomplish more

Friday, May 30, 2014  
Posted by: Barbara Francella
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By Tricia Molloy

When I was staying at the Westin Bonaventure Hotel in Los Angeles for the NEW Leadership Summit last year, I noticed the pretty, green, leaf-shaped soap they provided. What caught my attention were the two words on the packaging: "Restore Balance.” Hmmmm.

As I showered that morning, I thought, "Wouldn't it be great if it were that easy? Use this soap and the rest of your day will be in perfect balance. You'll begin with a vigorous workout at the gym, get that mission-critical project completed by noon, enjoy a healthy lunch with a key client, call a dear friend who needs your support and make it to your child's recital that evening. Fully present every step of the way."

There is no soap or magic pill we can take to do that. While it isn't easy to improve our balance, it is simple.

We're all way too busy and some of that "busyness" is completely unnecessary. Many of us get addicted to a hectic pace, thinking that busyness translates to productivity and importance. It often doesn't.

Related: "Flip the switch: 3 ways to beat negativity"

Think about where you spend and often waste your time in a typical day, week and month. Make a list of all those things you can consider giving up. From household chores you dread and toxic people who drain your energy to professional associations that don't support your career goals. Choose three of these to release or delegate.

Then, think of one thing you've been "too busy" to do that would enhance your life and contribute to your balance. Perhaps it's taking a dance or computer class, nurturing a promising relationship or leading a significant initiative at work.

Notice the formula of minus three, plus one? You'll benefit professionally and personally from the energy and clarity that comes when you keep some breathing room in your typical schedule, instead of filling all your time again.

What will you give up — and gain?

Tricia Molloy is a corporate leadership speaker and the author of  Working with Wisdom. She works to inspire professionals to be more positive and productive through keynote speeches and employee development talks, workshops and webinars.

Views expressed in signed blogs are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of the Network of Executive Women or its Officers, Board members and sponsors.

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