I will never forget the moment I was confronted about my busyness. The challenge came from a good friend and mentor, LaTara Bussey. She would ask the most piercing questions not about just “what” task I was doing, but “how” I was doing as a person. She would ask questions about developing systems around my life, such as support systems, rest systems, and productivity systems. When you pride yourself on busy, you tend to believe you are functioning well in each of these areas. Notice the key word, pride, which is subtle acknowledgement of what you feel you are doing well. Many times I would skirt about as if all were well and that the need to adjust and become balanced were a matter for others, not myself. If one mentor were not enough, I also heard this wisdom from my mentor Angela Showers. She would ask me about my rest and relaxation schedule. I would often think to myself, “I do not have time for rest, because I have things to do.” Again, I was in denial about my busyness. I had been confronted head on by my lack of attention to rest.
As I share my experience, I know that I am not alone. I am speaking to many ministry leaders that run feverishly to meeting after meeting, task after task, and still wonder “What am I doing?” I am talking to many entrepreneurs that feel that, “I must always have something to do. I must go to the next networking event or the next teleseminar to get a competitive edge.” I am speaking with wives that feel they wear an “S” on their chest to mean “savior” or “superwoman.” These wives are struggling to be everything to all people, because we have created a culture of busyness. While we as a society celebrate busyness, many more people suffer in silence because it is a hard act to maintain.
I have been the person that celebrated my to-do list and getting things done that I felt needed to be done. However, something was missing in the equation. After battling fatigue, frustration, and overwhelming thoughts to give up, I confronted the truth. Busyness is not fruitful; it produces a cycle of undone tasks that do not have an end result. I decided to begin a process to understand how to become more productive. By being productive, I could address the things that needed to be done, but balance “how” things would be addressed. For example, if I had community obligations I would determine which meetings were necessary to attend versus those that I could no longer commit to. I needed to be comfortable with saying no, so I could focus on non-negotiable areas for me: Faith, family and fitness. Instead of tackling 1,000 tasks at once, I took more time to plan my work. My personal rule of thumb is that if I can do one task well, I have had a successful day. Through this experience, I learned to actually enjoy the roles I have been called to fulfill as a Wife, Daughter, Sister Ministry Leader, Author, Speaker, and Community Liaison.
I sense that many of my fellow leaders are living in the cycle of busyness, but are simply not sure how to escape from the cycle. I am aware that many of you all want to confront this truth, but simply are not sure where to begin. It is necessary that we confront our busyness and face the truth that somewhere we need more balance. We also need to confront the truth that we might need support to break this cycle.
I have been where you are and I also have to grow one step at a time. Are you ready to find out how to be more productive? Reach out if you are ready to move forward: I’m ready to be productive!