Sally Henderson
Powerful change from the inside out




The Exhausting Comfort-Zone of Busyness


The world is moving fast. We can see it, we can feel it. And in today's ever-increasing competition and pace, allowing ourselves to simply pause is often synonym of running the risk of being left behind. Or so we have been trained to believe. Well, move away, Busyness, there's a better way of work and life on the horizon!

So, what is busyness? A very quick search will give you the following definition: "The state or condition of having a great deal to do."

What no definition will tell you, however, is that busyness is often mistaken for effectiveness.

Indeed, busyness may look and feel a lot like effectiveness, but what distinguishes them is the way they handle one of your most limited resources: Time.

So let's start with this question:

what do you think best defines you as a Leader right now - busy or effective?

Here's a quick-fire test I use with my clients to help you find out - rank each of the following out of 10:

  • Role and Remit
  • Leadership
  • Relationships in the leadership team
  • Performance as a leadership team
  • Potential of your current leadership team

Done? Now, one of five things is likely to happen:

  1. You're too busy being a high-performing leader to effectively address and answer the questions 
  2. You answer through rose tinted glasses: everything is a 9!
  3. Your inner critic took this opportunity to leap out of its box & get to work with bashing you (here are some tips to keep it in check)
  4. You're not clear on how the other leaders in your team are truly thinking or feeling, making it difficult to answer the questions
  5. You answer the questions well, and the numbers give you clear targeted areas to focus on.

For today, let's keep the focus on the "Busy" side of your work life. I once received some great advice from a Mentor I was working with, when I said I liked being busy. She said:

“Wouldn’t you rather be effective?”

BOOM. Those words have stuck with me ever since.

How many of you reading this are ‘busy’ right now, but feel like all your hard work isn’t translating into the right results?

Busy gets in the way of one of my passions: Creating Greater Leaders. Many high-performers wrongly tell themselves they are too busy to take precious time out to think about their own needs, wants, hopes and fears.

Yet, ironically, and often painfully, it is these very needs, wants, hopes and fears that are driving leadership. The question is:

“How well is your business, leadership or career being driven really?”

BECAUSE Busy is often simply an excuse. A reason to put off dealing with your “naked truth”.

When you choose to take control and move from being busy to being effective, here's a glimpse of what's waiting for you on the other side:

  • Earlier this week, a client shared with me how they had previously hidden under being “busy”, but now feel empowered to take the time to pause and reflect to focus on their growth needs, as they now have frameworks and knowledge to support this new learning.
  • Another client told me how much easier it was to come up and out of the trenches once they actively put their focus on doing so. How through investing in their development, they are now equipped with a simple approach to guide them and their fellow leadership team to make successful change.

If you've read this far, you might now be at a Leadership crossroad: 

  • on one side is the exhausting but comforting road to busyness
  • and on the other, in the distance, is the challenging but rewarding road to effectiveness.

The choice is entirely yours.

Great news is you don't have to do it alone - let's have a chat.


sally henderson