The NYC Marathon is this weekend. I used to be a runner until my knees gave out although the longest race I ever ran was a half-marathon. One thing I learned while running in that and other races was the importance of pacing yourself. We all have a limited amount of energy and it was almost possible to go faster by slowing down as the energy banks were always there when I needed them.
Business is a marathon yet sometimes we get focused on the “busy” part that we forget the “better” part. One client’s office has little signs posted with a red circle over a fire alarm. In other words, no fire drills. I like that. The point is to maintain focus on the long-term business goals of the organization (the marathon) and not lighting fires by chasing short-term distractions. It means a focus on process and planning which permits better execution. When someone pulls a figurative fire alarm what inevitably happens is that those processes break down, the work is less than optimal, and often everyone walks away angry. We were busy but we weren’t better.
More isn’t always better. I don’t know about you but I’ve cut way back on many of the social media channels I use. I’ve begun cutting back the number of newsletters I see – many of them were just regurgitating the same news anyway. I want to finish the marathon hand in hand with my clients and not have either of us hit the wall many miles from the finish. I want to be better, and while it’s dangerous for a consultant to say they want to be less busy, I want to be less busy with “stuff” and more busy with substance.
How about you?