Do you ever feel like you are overwhelmed with things to follow up or catch up on?
At times, does it seem like the harder you work, the further behind you get?
Is your full plate of activities preventing you from doing all the things you should do?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, you could be stuck in leadership quicksand. And just like being in quicksand, the more you struggle, the faster you sink.
If someone is stuck in quicksand, experts say, “Just relax. Your body will eventually float because your body is less dense than the quicksand. So, relax.”
Intentionally escape from (or avoid) the quicksand you’re in by doing less to get more done.
If you accept this challenge and just relax, then you’re taking the time you need to think with an uncluttered mind.
What way of relaxing works for you? I invite you to try this roadmap exercise that works well for me.
- Turn off your email and other distractions. Then, using a clean sheet of paper (11×17), begin to think creatively. Drawing on your fresh canvas like an artist, slowly list the activities that are contributing to your quicksand. Spread these activities around the paper. Circle them. Underline them. Add exclamation points as you feel you need to.
- Let’s assume you have listed ten activities on your roadmap. With a clear mind, study your newly created landscape, then begin to prioritize these one through ten.
- As you focus on each of the individual priorities, add keywords that move you forward. As an example, write in names of people who can help you, dates of project starts and completions, resources required, and whatever else seems relevant. Do as little of what’s on this list yourself by delegating everything possible. Empower others where appropriate.
- You’ve just converted your blank sheet of paper into a roadmap of what will get done and how, by when, and by whom (other than you). Take time to transfer your plan onto a one-page document and go to work on one priority item at a time. Voila! You’re out of the quicksand!
I hope sharing this approach stimulates ideas of how to get out of any quicksand you may be stuck in. By struggling less, you can get back to providing the leadership your organization needs from you.
Remember, as a leader, the less you do, the more you can get done.