When Busyness is Hurting Business

Business is in trouble. Too many people are moving too fast in too many directions with too little guidance and no time to think. Information comes at all of us with great velocity but sometimes-weak veracity. In the race to be first, fastest and best, we lose sight of the purpose. What do I mean?

Speed compromises value. When choices need to be made about a company’s future–strategy, structure, people, processes, equipment and the like–there’s an important link between careful consideration and sustainable profitability. Quick picks may be fine in the lottery, but business is not a game of chance.

Okay, so not everyone is involved in big decisions. But everyone who is employed does affect business. And when everyone’s too busy to be effective, everyone gets hurt.

Think about the people you know who have too many things to do each day to give clear thought to priorities for the long run–or even for next week. They stumble forward in confusion hoping to get enough of the right things done to stay in the game. When these people are leaders, chaos reigns.

How about all those phone messages? Most people grab the stack and start speed dialing. There’s not much thought given to any particular message or the issue that prompted the call; chances are you’ll end up in voice mail yourself. And we want to talk about “value-added?”

In some cases, people are over-committed in their professional and personal lives. Ironically, frequent rescheduling of meetings, dinners or time with friends says a lot about commitment. There isn’t much these days.

Do you see yourself here? I’ll bet you do. Most of us like to be busy. It makes us feel important. But we’d better get a handle on what we’re doing because frenzy is incredibly destructive.

Consider these truths:
1. There is no learning without reflection.
2. Progress is accidental when there are no priorities.
3. Unintended consequences multiply with snap decisions.

Want to help your business instead of hurting it? Start right now having reasons for what you do; help others to understand them. Stop doing things that don’t matter or worse, create confusion. Slow down. Think it through. Act with purpose. Be brave enough to set an example.

Categories: Business

About Susan Marshall

founder susan marshall

Susan A. Marshall is author, speaker and founder, whose mission is to create a stronger, more confident future, one person or team at a time.  Through personal experience and hands-on work with executives from diverse industries at all levels, Susan has had the privilege of helping thousands of people do the difficult and exhilarating work of growth.