Steve asked his son, Stone, if he wanted to go and do something together. Stone said, “I can’t. I’m busy.” Steve went on about his business. Stone did, too. An opportunity to connect lost.
We’re all too busy. We all have a reason to keep doing what we’re doing. The work in progress is uninterruptable. Our tendency is to assume that what we’re doing now — no matter what it is — is too important to stop.
Responding to e-mail. Creating a Powerpoint deck. Taking a conference call. Watching the game. Catching up on Iron Chef.
I almost chose watching some football game instead of writing this —- I was telling myself “I’m too busy”. I was wrong. I don’t remember who was playing or what the score was. Glad I stepped away from the empty busy-ness to do something that benefits me (if no one else).
Chances are the interruption from your son, daughter, father, mother, sister, brother, husband or wife is more important than what you’re doing right now. It’s reasonable to assume looking at the check book & budget, the savings plan, the grocery list, the clutter in that corner you’ve been avoiding, etc. is worth turning off the TV.
Steve tried to get some time with Stone. Stone was too busy.
Stone is 8 years old. He was playing with blocks.
It’s easy to look at the 8 year old, roll your eyes and say, “That’s not important, he’s 8. But what I’m doing is.”
Unless you’re on the edge of creating a breakthrough in unified field theory, inventing a new keyboard that mimics human handwriting, curing breast cancer, or ending the tyranny that is social media, what you’re doing is probably not that important.
- Am I solving a problem right now?
- Am I building a relationship?
- Am I creating lasting value for myself, my business, my family?
- What makes this that important?