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Kicking the “Busyness”
                                 Addiction for a Better Fit


Dr. Dana Schon,
Professional Learning Director
Leadership life fit. busyness addiction
The “busyness” addiction (a mindset):

   A drive to succeed and a compulsion to get more done,
    which ironically, is counterproductive because there is
    always more to do.

   People become addicted to feelings of exhilaration and
    importance at having completed many tasks (being
    busy), but such feelings are illusory because the to-do
    list never ends.

   In the name of “being busy,” addicts sacrifice time with
    families and colleagues; and their own physical, spiritual,
    and mental health suffers.
Leadership life fit. busyness addiction
Are you…
 Plugged-in 24/7?
 Always challenged to see how many tasks you can complete in the shortest
    amount of time?
 Failing to slow down?
 Always multi-tasking?
 So focused on tasks and being “busy” that you lose touch with your
    surroundings? Your relationships? Yourself?
 Consumed by escalating demands—Feeling like you could always do more
    professional reading, more professional writing, more observations, more
    communication, more, more, more?
 Avoiding times of quiet and solitude?
 Anxious and uncomfortable in those moments when you do find yourself
    with nothing to do?
 Failing to be present in the moment?
 Feeling guilty about saying “no” or “doing nothing”?
Leadership life fit. busyness addiction
 A feeling of indifference or numbing of feelings
 Depression
 Lack of enjoyment
 Frustration at the inability to keep the pace of
  the ever-growing to-do list
 Disconnection from people we care about
 Ineffective use of time due to feelings of being
  overwhelmed—uncertain where to start
 Fragmentation—lack of cohesion in our day-day
  lives and work
Leadership life fit. busyness addiction
Urgent                   Non-urgent
                                                    Quadrant 1                  Quadrant 2
   When your direction is clear,                   Quadrant of Necessity       Quadrant of Quality and
    managing your time and                                                      Personal Leadership
    resources to achieve your                       Examples: Deadline-




                                    Important
    goals becomes easier.                           driven projects, crises,    Examples: problem
                                                    resolution of immediate     prevention, relationship
   Consider creating the matrix                    problems                    building, professional
    to the right and organizing                                                 growth and
                                                                                development, improving
    the tasks that occupy your                                                  leadership-life fit
    time according to their
    urgency and importance
                                                    Quadrant 3                  Quadrant 4
                                    Not important

   Strive to structure a                           Quadrant of                 Quadrant of Escape
                                                    Deception/Illusion
    schedule that supports you                                                  Examples: trivia,
    in spending the bulk of your                    Examples: Interruptions,    busywork, Internet
    time in quadrant 2                              certain phone               surfing, private calls
                                                    calls/emails/meetings/rep
                                                    orts, certain pressing
                                                    matters
   Just Say NO!
     “Thanks for asking, but no, I simply can’t.”
     “I appreciate that you asked, but no, I am unable
      to at this time.”
     “I’m sorry, no.”


    All the mistakes I ever made in my life were when I
    wanted to say No, and said Yes.
                                         ~Moss Hart
   Do one thing at a time.
     Try it just for today! If you are a multi-tasker, you
      will need practice to change your behavior! Start
      with small steps—one day.
     Be present in every moment. Focus solely on the
      person with whom you engage in conversation.
      Drive without using your Bluetooth (or any
      device). Watch t.v. without reading, writing, or
      engaging in some other task. Be present!
Leadership life fit. busyness addiction
   Question your beliefs. Write down all your
    beliefs about relaxation, work, multi-
    tasking, busyness, etc. and question
    them. What mental models are keeping you
    consumed by “busyness”?
Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening
to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering.

                   ~Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne
   Schedule down time.
     Honor your commitments to yourself. If you
      commit to leaving work at 5:30, do it. This means
      leaving the work, too! No cheating!
     Make a date with a significant other or good
      friend.
     Unplug. Power down.

*Strategies adapted from Are You Addicted To Busyness? By Carlene Ashby:
http://www.makeithappennow.org/advice/are-you-addicted-to-busyness/
Leadership life fit. busyness addiction

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Leadership life fit. busyness addiction

  • 1. Kicking the “Busyness” Addiction for a Better Fit Dr. Dana Schon, Professional Learning Director
  • 3. The “busyness” addiction (a mindset):  A drive to succeed and a compulsion to get more done, which ironically, is counterproductive because there is always more to do.  People become addicted to feelings of exhilaration and importance at having completed many tasks (being busy), but such feelings are illusory because the to-do list never ends.  In the name of “being busy,” addicts sacrifice time with families and colleagues; and their own physical, spiritual, and mental health suffers.
  • 5. Are you…  Plugged-in 24/7?  Always challenged to see how many tasks you can complete in the shortest amount of time?  Failing to slow down?  Always multi-tasking?  So focused on tasks and being “busy” that you lose touch with your surroundings? Your relationships? Yourself?  Consumed by escalating demands—Feeling like you could always do more professional reading, more professional writing, more observations, more communication, more, more, more?  Avoiding times of quiet and solitude?  Anxious and uncomfortable in those moments when you do find yourself with nothing to do?  Failing to be present in the moment?  Feeling guilty about saying “no” or “doing nothing”?
  • 7.  A feeling of indifference or numbing of feelings  Depression  Lack of enjoyment  Frustration at the inability to keep the pace of the ever-growing to-do list  Disconnection from people we care about  Ineffective use of time due to feelings of being overwhelmed—uncertain where to start  Fragmentation—lack of cohesion in our day-day lives and work
  • 9. Urgent Non-urgent Quadrant 1 Quadrant 2  When your direction is clear, Quadrant of Necessity Quadrant of Quality and managing your time and Personal Leadership resources to achieve your Examples: Deadline- Important goals becomes easier. driven projects, crises, Examples: problem resolution of immediate prevention, relationship  Consider creating the matrix problems building, professional to the right and organizing growth and development, improving the tasks that occupy your leadership-life fit time according to their urgency and importance Quadrant 3 Quadrant 4 Not important  Strive to structure a Quadrant of Quadrant of Escape Deception/Illusion schedule that supports you Examples: trivia, in spending the bulk of your Examples: Interruptions, busywork, Internet time in quadrant 2 certain phone surfing, private calls calls/emails/meetings/rep orts, certain pressing matters
  • 10. Just Say NO!  “Thanks for asking, but no, I simply can’t.”  “I appreciate that you asked, but no, I am unable to at this time.”  “I’m sorry, no.” All the mistakes I ever made in my life were when I wanted to say No, and said Yes. ~Moss Hart
  • 11. Do one thing at a time.  Try it just for today! If you are a multi-tasker, you will need practice to change your behavior! Start with small steps—one day.  Be present in every moment. Focus solely on the person with whom you engage in conversation. Drive without using your Bluetooth (or any device). Watch t.v. without reading, writing, or engaging in some other task. Be present!
  • 13. Question your beliefs. Write down all your beliefs about relaxation, work, multi- tasking, busyness, etc. and question them. What mental models are keeping you consumed by “busyness”?
  • 14. Don't underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listening to all the things you can't hear, and not bothering. ~Pooh's Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne
  • 15. Schedule down time.  Honor your commitments to yourself. If you commit to leaving work at 5:30, do it. This means leaving the work, too! No cheating!  Make a date with a significant other or good friend.  Unplug. Power down. *Strategies adapted from Are You Addicted To Busyness? By Carlene Ashby: http://www.makeithappennow.org/advice/are-you-addicted-to-busyness/