A Master in the art of Living 

Draws no sharp distinction 

Between their work and their play 

Their labour and their leisure 

Their minds and their bodies 

Their education or their recreation. 

They hardly know which is which. 

They simply pursue their vision 

Of excellence 

Through whatever 

They are doing

and leave 

Others to determine 

Whether they are working or playing. 

To themselves, it always seems 

As if they are doing both. 

Christopher Walker

There’s an old, old quote…

If you want something done, ask a busy person

Well, it’s true. Idle hands are the devils playground.

And if you are in the business of MANAGEMENT .. then, busy is best.

BUT if you are in the business of LEADERSHIP … then, busy is a crime.

Time efficiency is impacted by how busy you are. If you are busy, you’ll get things done faster. If you are not busy, Parkinson’s Law … Work expands to fill the time allotted to it … becomes truth.

But Parkinson’s disease is also a consequence of busyness. This is the difference between Stress and Eustress. Eustress is healthy.

The side effects of busy are terrible. Exhaustion, depletion, moods, distraction, and ultimately the worst of the bunch, taking the joy out of life and work.

In a recent study CEO’s were asked about working day time allocation. 30% was to task. 30% was to network and 30% to board. The temptation is to think these people are busy. However, on further examination, the networking was done outside the office often sailing or tennis etc. And board network was socially engaged activities including dinners at home or with friends. What they called work, some less aware managers would call, getting away from their job or time out.

You know a person’s purpose in life within 30 seconds of meeting them. A world champion will not waste time talking to you unless it helps with their sponsorship, training, recovery or preparation for their event. A CEO will not waste their time solving people’s problems unless it links to their mission of growing their business. We tend to glorify “Busy” as some form of “work” when in fact, un-busy would be the best definition of a great leadership.

Un-busy means you are available and things come to you. But, and this is the rider, you’d best be hanging out with those who play a role in your success, who can impact your results, who are part of the fabric of your goal. Otherwise, the un-busy will result in leisure time that lowers your self worth.

10 ideas to un-busy yourself.

  • spend a maximum of 30% of your working day in management (see blog posts on defining management)
  • link 30% of your day to activities that engage clients and networks that are healthy and fun
  • link 30% of your day to managing upwards – leadership
  • always remember to create space to let things come to you rather than always feeling pressure to grab
  • turn up at work, or your chosen mission, already happy, fulfilled and satisfied
  • don’t bring home stress (gratitude)
  • do one thing at a time (be present)
  • know your mission in life (certainty)
  • love life – (means be happy and to do this understand nature’s universal laws to create transparency)
  • focus on stress prevention rather than stress relief. prevention takes 1/100th the effort than cure.

Tapping Your Genius

If you have an image of Einstein sitting in his lab, crying, sobbing because he doesn’t have time off, filled with anxiety because he didn’t come up with a new formula, worried about making money, wishing he was somewhere else, dreaming of nights on a yacht on the Mediterranean so far from his work, think again.

Einstein couldn’t differentiate between work and play. He wasn’t concerned with stuff that didn’t impact his mission. He loved his mission, surrounded himself with those who supported it. He wasn’t conflicted with multimple ambitions, he wanted to do what he did, everyday was a holiday for Einstein because for him, a holiday was doing what he did everyday.

The second you hear yourself say “I need a holiday” just know that all your genius is gone, the magic you can tap into to draw things to yourself has left, life has lost its gloss. If there is one thing the future will bring it is the realisation that this era of obsession with “getting away from it” was stupid. “It: needs to be the thing you don’t want to get away from, and that means your work and your life become one.