Exceptional leaders know the difference between action and activity. The “busy trap” happens when we get so busy “doing” that we don’t think if what we’re doing is necessary or worthwhile.
Start your planning by reflecting on the first nine months of this year and ask:
What key actions did you take to achieve your goals and/or objectives?
What key activities took your time and resources but really didn’t contribute to achieving your goals and/or objectives?
As basketball coaching legend John Wooden emphasized, “Never mistake activity with achievement.”
Have you and your team been busy with activities? Or have you been successful creating and implementing action?
Build your quarterly, annual, and long-range plans around creating meaningful action.
Helen Keller said, “Ideas without action are useless.” Keep that in mind as you challenge yourself with these questions:
- What are the top three objectives you’ve outlined for the coming year?
- Are your plans to achieve them full of concrete, doable, and meaningful actions or are they busy work, otherwise known as activities?
- Most critically, if we don’t take this action, will it really matter?
Activities don’t typically create results—action does.