Are You TOO Busy?

Below is an excerpt from my new coaching modules, The 24/7 Leader: Transforming Personal & Professional Life:

“I’m not getting enough done,” explained David, a leader at a healthcare start-up.

“I’m working all the time—evenings, weekends—and it’s affecting my family life. It makes me cringe when I hear my wife tell the kids, ‘Daddy can’t play because he has to work all the time.’ That’s not what I want, but I can’t figure out how to deal with all the daily crises and still get everything else done. I’m hoping you have some suggestions because, frankly, I’m exhausted. I can’t continue living this way.”

Even though we were using Zoom, the anguish I saw in David’s eyes was all too familiar. I had seen it many times before and lived through it myself.

I had also worked with clients who suffered from extreme exhaustion and seemed on the verge of a nervous breakdown. Some were workaholics when we started.

“David, the good news is, you’ve noticed you don’t like feeling this way and you’re ready to do something about it. Next, let's get a clear view of life you want to create, and then we'll figure out how to make that happen.”

I pulled out a pen and wrote “168” on a Post-it Note.

“We all have the same 168 hours in a week,” I explained. “Ideally, you’ll need to decide how you want to do this. I typically suggest people begin by designing each day to include eight hours of rest, eight hours of work, and eight hours of ‘play’ or activity that nurtures us—like exercise, meal prep, family time, household chores, etc.

“If we’re more aware of how we’re allocating our time, we can make better choices about how to spend it. We can also see if our commitments exceed what’s possible within a 168-hour week.”

“Yes. I already know work commitments are eating into my family life. So how do I work more efficiently or find more time in my schedule?”

“Prioritize. Leaders have the ability to delegate, and you also have to realize there are some things you can’t delegate—like spending time with your wife and kids, creating a healthy body, and managing your retirement funding strategy.

“So, the question becomes: how do you align your time with your priorities?”

I shared with David the time-mapping tool I use, with the following instructions:

Your Coaching Challenge:

Use this tool* as a guide to map out your ideal week based on your accountabilities and what you think you want it to be.

Then, keep a log to capture everything you’re actually doing over the course of 2 weeks, including breaks.

At the end of 2 weeks, review your log and ask yourself these questions:

  • What are my highest value activities?
  • What can I (and only I) do, so that—when done—it will make a real difference in my life and at work?
  • What is the most valuable use of my time now?
  • Which one project or activity, if I did it and excelled in it, would have the greatest positive consequences in my work and personal life?
  • Which lower value activities do I need to discontinue?

Once you capture how you’re spending your time, you can determine better ways to allocate it—through prioritization, delegation, or elimination.

Inspiring leaders intentionally plan their 168 hours to maintain their well-being and meet all their accountabilities. They understand the importance of nurturing themselves so they can function at their best when leading others.

If you would like to take this deeper, join "The 24/7 Leader" coaching process and peer mastermind. To enroll, please contact us. For more support in your team's development, let's talk: 888-959-1188.

* To receive the 168-Hours template, please email me!