We tend to feel like the more we do, the more we are getting done. Isn’t the opposite often true, though?

Last week, we talked about the difference between busy versus engaged and highlighted some key indicators to help you identify where you might land on this. If you identified more with “crazy-busy”, you’re not alone. Forbes reported in 2018 that nearly 50% of workers forfeited their paid vacation for fear of getting too far behind at work. It’s a real workplace epidemic. The question is, how is this hurting where you’re trying to go? Are you willing to do something about it?

Here are three things you can start doing right now to begin shifting out of busy and into ENGAGED.

  • Do a workflow audit. This is the best way to see your obstacles and bottlenecks, as well as what IS working. Make a list of those obstacles and walk yourself through questions about whether or not that responsibility is where it should be, or if someone else could do it (see next step).
  • Delegate to empower. One of the best ways to simultaneously engage your team and improve your workflow is to empower others to make decisions. This requires your support, maybe some weigh-in from your leaders, and some coaching up front as they own something new. But in the end, this will create fewer emails, urgencies, and bottlenecks for you…and more opportunity for your team members.
  • Change your words. Sometimes our language and the grunts and groans of the day set a tone that de-motivates us (and others) without us realizing it. Reframing a challenge to yourself and your team that you “get to” tackle an issue or a challenging project can create a total shift in mood and morale.

Why does this matter? What we know from our work with clients is that people desire to enjoy their work and make an impact. Maybe this isn’t you, but if it is, you simply wanting that is reason to dig in. In a Harvard Business Review article written about engaging leaders, they said, “Engaging leaders step up, opting to proactively own solutions where others cannot or do not. They energize others, keeping people focused on purpose and vision with contagious positivity.

Is that you? Great visions are realized with engaged teams! Engagement is an excitement and a connection to what you are doing. It’s progress and growth and creativity. Instead of reacting to the things going on around you, you’ll see more coming and will be proactively addressing with a team of involved, inspired people. And if you’re up at 5am, it’s not for email, but instead because you have strategically carved out time for planning how you WANT to tackle your day. That’s a win!

What is fascinating us this week…

Oh the days of our lives. For this fun project you need an iPad and a determined 3-year old.

Achieving the Win in an Employee-Centered Economy


Check Your Face.


The Latest Design is You


Crazy-Busy or Engaged?