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7 Important Things Every Way-Too-Busy Leader Forfeits

Way-Too-Busy Leader

So let me guess. You’ve got too much to do today.

Welcome to leadership.

One of the most challenging aspects of leadership for any leader is time management.

You can read time management books and posts (I’ll give you some resources at the end of this post), but if you don’t care about why something matters, you’ll rarely change your ways.

So this post is about why being way-too-busy is a problem. It’s about what you’re missing when every day is slammed.

In the first 10 years of my leadership, everything I did seemed hurried. I hated sitting still. I think I was afraid of becoming lazy (although that’s the last thing anyone might ever call me).

But there’s a difference between laziness and stillness. Laziness produces nothing. Stillness produces meaning, thought and even confession.

There’s also a difference between hurry and urgency. Urgency, most days, is your friend in leadership.

Decisions need to be made. The mission must advance. And, as Seth Godin and Steve Jobs remind us, real artists ship.

But almost nothing good happens in a hurry.

I’m still committed to high output, but not at the cost of these seven things.

In fact, if you get rid of the ‘way too’ in ‘way-too-busy,’ you’ll lead a far more significant life.

1. Creativity

You can’t be creative in a hurry.

As Craig Groeschel helpfully points out in his new leadership podcast (you should subscribe by the way), creativity happens in the margins.

Ever notice your best thinking happens when you’re doing something else? Like taking a shower? Or going for a walk? Or cutting your grass?

I cycle for a number of reasons, but one of them is because when I’m out on a 60- to 90-minute ride and my mind is relaxed, I come up with my best insights and ideas.

This isn’t just anecdotal, it’s apparently also scientific.

Running from meeting to meeting and event to event kills creativity.

2. Intimacy

Ever try to rush a date with your spouse?

Big mistake.

There’s a difference between a 10-minute meal at Burger King and a three-hour evening at your favorite restaurant.

They’re both food (well, one is, sort of).

Intimacy can’t be rushed. That’s true of time with your spouse. And it’s true of your time with God.

Intimacy and time are inherently linked.

Which is why way-too-busy people rarely have close relationships with anyone, including God.

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Speaker and podcaster Carey Nieuwhof is a former lawyer and founding pastor of Connexus Church, one of the largest and most influential churches in Canada. With over 6 million downloads, The Carey Nieuwhof Leadership Podcast features today's top leaders and cultural influencers. His most recent book is “Didn’t See It Coming: Overcoming the 7 Greatest Challenges That No One Expects and Everyone Experiences.” Carey and his wife, Toni, reside near Barrie, Ontario and have two children.