Confusing achievement with activity
Do you work in a corporate, non-profit, or small business office, spending countless hours hammering away at your keyboard sending emails or building presentations and talking to clients and co-workers, wondering where the day went? Busyness makes the day go by pretty quickly, but what does it produce? You see, producing is different than being busy. As leaders, we often get lost in the idea of producing and simply become busy. We lose focus and confuse achievement with activity.
Being busy during the day, such as sending those emails and building presentations, while important in many instances, simply occupies a lot of our (precious) time, and we end up focusing our efforts on the less important things. I know I have done it, delayed the one-on-one meeting with a peer or subordinate because I have an “important” presentation due. Truthfully, the presentation could be completed in half the time if done with intention and focus.
The reality is, the more time you give to accomplish something, the more time it will take to complete it. Think about an assignment in college, or a presentation for work. You have known about it for weeks, yet you wait until the last minute to start and complete it at the last second, so it took you the entire time allowed to finish. If the same assignment or presentation were due in 5 days, it would only take 5 days and not several weeks because you are not willing to fail. Make sense?
How does this affect how I lead others? Confusing achievement with activity…
How to focus on achievement and not activity.
Remember, achievement is a result of meeting a goal or producing a product on time. Activity is simply busyness. Don’t confuse achieving with being busy.
Jared W. Snow