I found two great articles in my Twitter feed this week that really struck home for me.
Over the past decade, I have prided myself on how busy I am multi-tasking and having a calendar booked solid. My hard work has paid off as I successfully progressed in my career, learned many new things and served my team and customers to the best of my ability.
But … with this self imposed hectic/chaotic pace, I have seen my commitment to fitness deteriorate, my personal and family life being compromised all for the sake of working harder (not necessarily smarter).
The first article I came across was retweeted by the American Management Association (@AMAnet):
#Leadership & White Space. (RT @mikemyatt) #Management | http://ow.ly/4Rn8i
Mike Myatt (@MikeMyatt) started the article Leadership and Whitespace with a great quote:
I don’t care how busy you are, but I do care about what you accomplish – the former doesn’t always lead to the latter.
After reading the article about creating “white space” in my calendar, I took some time to think about how I could go about doing this. It’s not easy when you have grown up in a management culture of “do more with less” and “deliver, deliver, deliver”. When I started the management role of my team of 22 analysts, I deliberately chose to take a “servant leadership” approach that focused on setting direction, empowering my team and then managing the inevitable roadblocks, politics and priority changes that come along the way. So do I have an answer today … no but I am committed to work on it.
The first reader comment on Mike’s post was from Tanveer Naseer (@TanveerNaseer) who wrote the second article I mentioned – Learning to Appreciate the White Spaces. Tanveer provided four reasons to create white spaces:
- Provides opportunities for contemplation and review
- Shifts our decision making from reflexive reactions to measured, deliberate responses
- Allows you to address those unanticipated issues without penalizing other tasks
- Even machines need maintenance/repair
ps: For the social media naysayers, this is yet another powerful reason that I believe Twitter is an essential part of my professional and personal development!