Take Back Your Life

I seem to be busier than ever before – how about you? I’ve always been busy, but I’ve got a check in my spirit that tells me I’ve slipped from busy into hurry. Busy, hurry, what’s the difference? Busy is about your calendar, hurry is about your heart.

When we’re in a hurry we…

Don’t fully appreciate the people around us.

Miss opportunities to serve.

Set unrealistic expectations for ourselves and others.

Fail to see the contributions of others.

Don’t honor the people around us.

Are unable to see beauty in the world.

Do not lead at our full potential.

How does this happen? I don’t fully understand it, but I believe excessive, sustained busyness leads to a state of hurriedness. Following are four potential contributing factors and a few ideas to help take back your life…
1. We lose sight of our primary role/calling. How much of what you have on your calendar for the next 30 days is actually outside the scope of your current responsibilities? For many of us, our excessive busyness and hurry, can be attributed to activities we shouldn’t be doing in the first place.
Action: Clarify your calling and affirm your role. Use this as a filter. Eliminate activities, even good activities, that are not aligned with your unique contribution and responsibility.
2. We don’t have (or follow) a plan. Without goals and strategies, every tactic is of equal value. If you don’t know what you really want to do, or need to do to be successful, unfocused busyness and hurry are predictable outcomes.
Action: Create a personal plan and reference it often. For me, the more I read my plan the better I activate against it. It is a great daily discipline to cultivate. I’ve been great at this in the past – I’ve got to get back on track with this one.
3. We let others set our agenda for us. Understandably, this will happen from time to time. However, it should not be the norm. If we don’t own our time someone else will gladly commandeer it.
Action: Own your calendar. Schedule the most important things early. This includes down time. Set appropriate boundaries. Don’t be a victim.
4. We are afraid to say no. For some people, this tendency has deep psychological roots. Perhaps it’s an over-inflated ego or chronic self-esteem issues. Maybe we’re trying to prove something to someone, maybe ourselves. In any of these instances, it’s not a good approach to allocating our time and energy.
Action: Focus on saying yes – to the right things. Once you’ve said yes to the right things, it will be much easier to say no to other things - If you say yes to a family vacation, it’s much easier to say no to a request to do something else that week.
I’ll be on vacation in a couple of weeks. One of the things I’m planning to do during the down time is to attack this issue of hurry in my own life. My goal is a busy, but unhurried second half of 2013!
Stay busy my friends, but don’t hurry.[GLS_Shield]
What actions have you taken in the past to take back your life?

Leave a comment

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Dan Forbes

10 years ago

Mark, This post hits home. Thanks for the insight and practical advice. Saying, Yes, to the right things is my growing intention.


10 years ago

Thank you Mark. I have found that my business travels put my in the hurry mode.

Michael Nichols

10 years ago

Great thoughts, Mark. Several years ago, I found myself wrestling with some of these same areas. I had to get very specific to make the necessary changes - and I've seen dramatic improvements in my life and work. I've written about how I did it in my series, Get Your Life Back. You can read it here - http://www.michaelnichols.org/schedule/.

David Sparks

10 years ago

Tremendous! Point number 1 is awesome, and has been incredibly helpful to me. Recently, I've had several conversations around clarity of role/purpose. It helped remind me of what my core functions are. It's a great point for managers and subordinates.

Five Blogs – 28 May 2013 | 5blogs

10 years ago

[...] Take Back Your Life Written by: Mark Miller [...]

Dustin Britt

10 years ago

Mark - wanted to let you know how much this has stuck with me, even more than a week since reading the post. I can be busy but not hurried in heart. Love this. Thank you for sharing!


9 years ago

Thanks, Dustin! I'm trying to figure this out. All insights you may have are welcomed! Mark

Carnival of HR - reMix edition | HR reMix

9 years ago

[...] Mike Miller challenges you focus and say yes to the right things in his post Take Back Your Life. [...]

Takis Athanassiou

9 years ago

Excellent post, pinpointing one of the major problems in the everyday life of a leader. Skillfully presented.


9 years ago

Thank you, Takis. Mark


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