Before you overcommit, ask yourself 3 questions

October 20, 2021

In polite conversation, we often ask each other, “How have you been?”

Busy, right? 

In our world of juggling career and personal obligations, busy is the new norm. 

Burnout is on the rise

The Washington Post reports burnout is sabotaging employee retention, according to 95 percent of human resource leaders. According to Forbes magazine, millennials are the most affected population, with 53 percent experiencing burn-out post-pandemic. 

If you’re feeling overwhelmed, before you say yes to the next request for some of your precious time, I’d like to offer a tip. But first, a story about perspective.

A story about perspective

Early in my economic development career, a mentor told me, “If you want people to impress people, walk fast, and look worried. People will say, ‘She must be really busy.’ But the trick is to occasionally slow your pace and look relieved. Then people will think, ‘Wow, she gets a lot done.’”

The trick is to occasionally slow your pace and look relieved.

Some people seem to thrive on working at an intense pace. They commonly use the phrase “drinking from a fire hose.”  

Working at warp speed can take its toll and may not always give the best perception. Instead of referring to the fire hose, one could say, “We have so much development happening.” 

This gives people the impression that rather than being overwhelmed and in reaction mode, you are working strategically to execute the mission of your organization.

Execution is synonymous with performance…

Execution is synonymous with performance, implementation, accomplishment, and fulfillment. On the other hand, busy can mean being absorbed, immersed or pre-occupied. 

When I compare the two words, busy makes me think of someone frantically treading water, while execution brings an image of a person peacefully floating on the water or relaxing on the water’s edge.

It is important to prioritize. 

The next time you are asked to do something, do not feel like you need to answer right away. Carefully consider the request. 

Here is a tip. Think of the word yes as an acronym for Your Execution Strategy (Y.E.S.).

Before you say Y.E.S. there are three questions to ask.

  1. Does the task fit Your Execution Strategy?
  2. Will your involvement help You Execute the Strategic goals of your business or organization?
  3. Does it align with your core mission?

If there is not a clear alignment with your core mission, then I suggest you respectfully decline. Translation: avoid busywork.

Avoid busywork

If you are able to say yes, then walk at an even pace, looking relieved, knowing that your engagement is closely related to Your Execution Strategy, leading to accomplishment and fulfillment.

Lisa Johnson
Lisa is an enterprising idea person who likes to share with others to help in their business and personal success. She was raised on cattle ranches in Wyoming and Colorado. She holds a B.S. in Communications from Eastern New Mexico University and is a graduate of the Economic Development Institute. Her economic development career has spanned 20+ years and three states, with leadership roles at the county, regional and state level. She founded Orbis to enjoy the advantage of working on unique consulting on projects while being actively involved on her husband’s family ranch at LaGrange, Wyoming. Lisa is equally as comfortable in the corporate board room or in the saddle.