“I’m too busy to have empty space in my life”. That’s a possible response to Where Is Your Empty Space?
If you are, what are you busy with? Is it what you want to be busy with? Do you have time to do some of what you want to do, or is your ‘I will do that someday’ list longer than you can even track?
In other words, is your busyness creating a fulfilling life?
I’ve been pondering ‘busy’ and I heard something very interesting from Manoush Zomorodi (her website) on the Dan Harris podcast. She made an interesting point about our relationship with time that is linked to our relationship to technology. “We are confusing responsiveness with productivity. We think that because we respond, we are producing”.
Have you ever thought about that? Have you ever discussed your expectations about responsiveness with your employees? With your boss?
It makes sense that having clear expectations is essential, but we often assume a shared understanding when there has never been a discussion about the subject.
If you (or your staff) are responding to customers, then you know that consumers have very high expectations. Providing good customer service is vitally important, and so is ensuring that your staff understand what you expect.
[By the way, the image I labelled “More” comes up if you search Pixabay using ‘customer service.’ That says a lot!]
Even if you are not frontline, you are probably using a set of expectations about responsiveness and what is ‘reasonable’.
I once heard someone say “no matter the time of day, if your boss emails, you should never take more than five minutes to respond.” That standard might make sense or might not. Perhaps their work is emergency related and they need to be responsive at all times.
But if that responsiveness standard is just something they are abiding by because they think it is ‘right’, can you see how being always ‘on call’ to respond would result in a busyness that was unproductive?
I’m not going to belabour this point because I think it is clear that we need to be more explicit with our expectations about responsiveness in the work environment.
But what about other responsiveness? Let’s take this to your personal life.
What are your expectations of how quickly you should get a response to an email to a friend? A spouse? A child?
Are your expectations different when you text or call? Does the other person know your expectations? Do they agree with them?
My question to you: are your actions and expectations keeping you too busy to have empty space? Are you prioritizing responsiveness at the expense of something else?
The other question is: are your expectations keeping the people around you from having empty space?
Do your expectations of responsiveness keep them tethered to technology?
Just something to ponder.