In 2011, I was on the lookout for a tool I did not know existed at the time, but eventually it found me.
Several years ago, Mark Newton founded the idea of irunurun
out of desperation when his business was failing. He was extremely busy working on many things, but he was not making any progress in the business. In fact, from his perspective, it was all coming to an end.
Upon arriving at a place of desperation, he felt compelled to go into his office and throw away his business plan binder. He proceeded to go to his desk and write down the 5 actions he knew he needed to do to move his company forward. By writing them down, he could now see if he was actually doing the actions which would result in the success of his business. With this tracking in place, he quickly came to find out he was scoring poorly on these actions. He was really busy doing many things that were not helping him grow.
Busyness distracted Mark from what mattered. In this chaos it was hard to see why he was not succeeding, but as he began to focus, it was clear why he was not moving forward. With this revelation in hand, he now needed a way to help him execute the actions he was not doing. He proceeded to reach out to his friends for accountability. He would send them weekly, a spreadsheet of his actions and scores. Quickly, he came to realize this new-found accountability fostered the drive to make progress on fulfilling his actions.
Slowly, he began to crawl out of the pit he had gotten into and towards what he defined as success. While it was not easy to follow through and enforce the discipline he needed, he arrived at the point where he was consistently executing the actions he needed to do. And, as a result, his insurance practice began to grow.
I recently read a blog by Sara Curtis
of the Leaders Lyceum
, who introduced me to irunurun. The blog talks about how 'busy' is the new 'fine'. She states in her blog the following:
"We find our days consumed by reacting to the urgent rather than investing in the important."
Like me, like Mark and like so many others we can find ourselves in a place of busy. Sometimes it's time for us to take a moment and ask ourselves, are we actually being productive? Are we actually moving towards what we have defined as success?
For you, which is it? Are you busy, or productive?