"The Stretched Thin Myth"
by Bauback Yeganeh, Ph.D.

Posted :

It feels as if you have more and more to do, and no time to do it all, right? This is probably a statement that you and others in your community identify with. If you are reading this blog, it is likely that you have felt short on time at some point in the past few days.

However, the notion that we are "stretched thin" can be deceiving. Most of the time I hear about people being "stretched thin" in the context of implementing leader action plans.  The idea is that if we had more time, we will be more likely to reflect, which means we would be more likely to change our behaviors. In reality, we spend about 90% of our time on auto-pilot, regardless of how much free time we have. That means that both the things we do well and the things we aren't great at are mostly done without thinking about what we are doing at all. While on auto-pilot, we fill free time with mindless thoughts and behaviors. Thus, carving out free time may not be the simple solution that we think it is.   

Mindfulness practices that get us out of auto-pilot such as focusing our attention on breathing and attending to the five senses can be done at any time and don't require extra time in our schedules. Further, when leaders focus on what I've termed micro-actions™, or the three second actions that change trajectories of interaction, they can intentionally practice them anytime.

Perhaps intentionality is less about having free time and more about doing something intentionally, right now.

To learn more about micro-actions™ contact us via the "connect" link above.