I will be the first to admit that I’m a doer that uses that metric to measure other people or organization’s value. Clearly the more you do the more valuable you are to your organization and to others! The difficulty is that being busy for the sake of being busy doesn’t equate to making a real difference in a person’s life or seeing a community go from being marginal to becoming healthy. So how do I find a balance between being a doer and doing the things that count?
I can remember being part of a group of pastors that shared the same church facility for worship. One of the pastors wanted us to meet together and just hang out. The other pastor and myself were somewhat critical of having another meeting if it didn’t have a purpose and actually accomplish something of value. The pastor who was leading the group was offended by our comments and ultimately made a statement that struck me about me being a doer and how I was too quick to judge others. I have to confess that I’m a doer and I do value my time and want to see worthwhile things accomplished if I’m going to be part of another meeting.
So it is important to step back I believe and evaluate what you are doing, how you are doing it and the why of doing it. The difficulty with multi-tasking becoming the latest fad and doing more is that we forget at times what we are really about. I know that in the past quantity was always more important than quality. I can remember between college and grad school when I worked as a concrete guy doing curb and gutter for a large contractor in the SF area. What mattered was how many linear feet output was accomplished each day. Yes the overall quality mattered but we would never waste time to be concerned with cosmetic blemishes when we had poured 3-4,000 feet.
It’s too easy in today’s context to no longer see people as people but as numbers that you process and make sure they accomplish the task before them. The difficulty comes when this model for business, doing church or neighborhood work is derailed because of one individual that has been ignored or hurt by being too busy to care about or the product produced was substandard. The bottom line has to become people not products or possessions. Do I care enough to stop, look and listen to what is really happening around me? Do I pretend that everything is ok when in all actuality it isn’t and I have been too busy to stop and help?
I still think it is important to keep track of what you do but more importantly to see that the things you do actually matter and make a difference in someone’s life! I know that I personally don’t like being viewed as a number or a statistic.
Do the things that count!