I’m digging deep into The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, because it’s a foundational book for many folks. I have found in it a lot of reinforcement for principles I’ve learned previously. Here’s one illustrated beautifully with a word picture:
“If the ladder is not leaning against the right wall, every step we take just gets us to the wrong place faster.” – Stephen Covey
Or, observe the consequences as a football player recovers a fumble and takes the ball the wrong way.
Some folks mistake busyness for effectiveness. Don’t do this. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re making progress. A lot of times, busyness can cause us to not have time for our goals. Therefore, when you expend effort, make sure it’s for the right things. For instance, if you’re someone who has trouble saying, “No,” to things you ought to, give this post by Mike Cane a read – 1922: Why I Quit Being So Accommodating. It is the transcription of an article that appeared in a 1922 issue of The American Magazine and details why not knowing how to say, “No,” means you end up costing the ones who matter the most to you.
Stop being busy to be busy. Be busy when you need to be, but not because you can’t say no and certainly not because you feel like you have to be busy. Instead, use that time and energy to pursue other goals.