I have worked very hard over the past two-plus years trying to grow York IE. But along the way, I have developed a bad habit.
I realized that recently while reading Ryan Holiday’s mind-altering book, Stillness Is the Key.
It takes a Herculean effort to get a company off the ground. Success in the earliest days of a company, especially when building brand equity, can be attributed to simple sweat equity. How much output can you produce? There is literally a limitless need — more blogs to write, more customers to win, more problems to solve, more employees to hire.
Over a long period of time, however, you can become addicted to productivity, which happened to me. If I wasn’t directly doing something for York IE, I began to feel guilty. I knew how much needed to be done and how hard everyone else was working. I needed to do my part.
Except, in doing that, I wasn’t.
In life and work, everything is urgent. That doesn’t mean, though, that everything is important. By focusing on every urgent task, I was being reactive, when I should have been proactive.
The most important issues — the ones that actually move your life or company forward — are evergreen. And, as the great Dr. Julie Gurner says, “You don’t solve them between meetings.” You solve them by thinking, which means, as silly as it sounds, you need to schedule more time to think!
That might mean for an hour per day an email goes unread or a Slack message goes unanswered. For us hyperproductive people, that might be painful in the short term. But not doing it and staying reactive, instead of being proactive and out-thinking your competition, will be much more painful in the long run.
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