Rushing around, meeting deadlines, answering an email and a phone call at the same time… sound familiar? There are so many distractions we face, so many demands on our time, and so many things on our to-do lists. Sometimes it’s hard to get a moment to use the restroom!
I’ve said before and have heard others say… “we take ourselves too seriously!”… “we think everything we have to get done is so important!”. After thinking about this for a bit I thought back to many situations I was a part of… times when I was franticly going from device to device not knowing what to do first, but certain I had no time for anything. Instead of taking myself too seriously, I wasn’t taking myself seriously enough!
We think 10 people are needed on a call to say we’ll meet a deadline, the world will end if we don’t reply to an email the minute we get it, someone we believe is important really needs 30 intricate power point slides to answer a few questions, etc. If we took ourselves more seriously we’d see the value in spreading out our abilities and having less people handle an issue. If we took ourselves more seriously we’d see the value in focusing our time and effort on the task at hand instead of reacting to each email as a matter of life or death. If we took ourselves more seriously we’d know we’re capable of meaningful connections and interactions without a bunch of glossy slides, and instead maybe a few highly impactful ones.
We hide behind all this stuff to avoid the hard work… the creative work that requires attention and doesn’t have a certain outcome. If we aren’t constantly chasing the issue of the moment what will be left to do? What would we do? What are we capable of?
The reality is that many of us haven’t taken ourselves seriously enough to find the answers to these questions. We aren’t sure what we’d find. We wonder if and how our contributions would be valued. Not having a plan every day is scary. Coming up with totally new ideas is a vulnerable proposition.
However, new ideas are critical to our world moving forward. We constantly hear about “innovation” and how important it is… does innovation happen doing 4 things at the same time? The answer is no. Do you think there’s more to you than a multi-tasking nut? Do you think there’s more you have to offer than just the knowledge you already possess? What else is there? What if you had an hour a day to just explore? I believe what you’d find would be amazing.
It’s time to take ourselves more seriously. Multi-task a little less. Truly connect in the conversations we have. Take some time each day to imagine possibilities. Believe that there’s something worth the time investment… there is!
By the way… if you’re thinking “but my boss, team, partners, clients, customers, family, organization, etc., won’t let me do this”, I’ll be back with another post on the subject. In the meantime, remember that even very small steps lead in the direction of change.