Marc Lesser is an executive coach, business leader, entrepreneur, and a Zen teacher. He is the founder and CEO of ZBA Associates, a company that provides leadership and communication coaching to corporations, small businesses, and nonprofits. In this guide to moving beyond busyness ("that crazy, nonstop, way-too-busy ceaseless activity that exhausts our efforts and yet leaves us feeling as if we are getting nowhere"), Lesser shares some advice he received from Yurok Indian Harry Roberts:
"There are three tasks that matter in this lifetime. The first task, though not the most important task, is to quiet the busyness in your mind. The second is to find your song. And the third task is to sing your song."
So many people now find themselves driven by work and, with the advent of cell phones, the Internet and other technological tools, they are busy all the time. Some take this as "a badge of honor" while others lament the loss of quality time with others and a lack of focus on the deeper issues of purpose and meaning in their lives. In our stressful world, people seem to be less kind and patient with others. This is an immense loss and results in a lack of civility in the working arena.
Lesser suggests that the art of doing less can be cultivated by stopping, pausing, reflecting, and fully doing one thing. He then outlines five habits we need to adopt if we are to accomplish more by doing less.
(1) Dealing with fear by practicing generosity toward ourselves and others.
(2) Stop making assumptions or jumping to conclusions and being guided by our ordinary minds.
(3) Reducing distractions and interruptions by honing our attention.
(4) Practice positive priming, precise observations, integrative thinking, and creativity as ways of opening to change.
(5) Less striving, less trying, less racing, less pushing can lead to more alignment.
Less: Accomplishing More by Doing Less by Marc Lesser is a timely and practical resource for those addicted to busyness.