To Be or Not To Be

That is the question.  Well, at least for Shakespeare’s Hamlet. For us, it’s more like to DO or not to DO.  As we enter the last quarter of the year, our long to do lists seem to get even more endless. Before long, we will be stretched to the limit trying to handle year end deadlines, planning, budgets, holidays, family commitments and, of course, the obligatory parading of our lives on social media. As a full participant in the multiprocessing frenzy, I know I must stop and think before the season is in full swing, if I am to make it to New Year’s with my sanity intact. How do we accomplish what we want and need to do AND fully enjoy the crisp air of fall, the relationships and the happy memories we hope to create through the holiday season?

With work becoming more global, virtual and ubiquitous, the demands to constantly “do” have grown to the point where we begin to think of who we are solely in terms of what we get done. We have work at home policies which make life more manageable, but also blur the lines between work time and non-work time. And then there is technology and social media, which makes doing even more seductive, if you can click it you can do it and if you can do it you can post it. More pressure!

“We have become human doings instead of human beings.” – Deepak Chopra

“Doing” is often associated with hard work, while “being” is often perceived as passive and even as laziness. “Being” does not mean finding a cave for the next 3 months and just expecting things to happen. It means increasing our self-awareness and “being” more discerning about our actions. More than 80% of top performers score high in self-awareness. Doing actually creates more need to do, while being creates a sense of gratitude, happiness and satisfaction with what we have. It is a matter of finding the balance of being and doing that will bring us the best results.

For leaders who want to end the year with a productive and engaged staff, satisfied customers and a sense of fulfillment, the answer is not cramming 5 more things onto the daily to do list. The key is consulting with our hearts about who we are to help us think about what to do AND what to let go of.  As leaders, we must be mindful that it is more than just doing things right.
Being + Doing = Doing Things Right AND Doing the Right Things.

Tips for leaders:
“When the water is muddied how do you see the bottom?”  – Lao Tse

Start the day with this question: “At the end of the day, how do I want to feel?”  Then, ask yourself, “What do I need to do to make me feel that way?”

  • At work, “How do I want my customer to feel at the end of our interaction?  How do I want my employees to feel at the end of a project?”
  • Spend some time reflecting on your values. What is truly important to you?
  • Make a NOT TO DO LIST. High performers hate to miss out on anything! Really, what is the worst that will happen if you don’t do everything?
  • Focus on one thing at a time and stay present. Most research shows that this improves your productivity and the quality of your relationships.
  • Control your environment. Media, especially television, internet and social media inundate us with images of DO, DO, DO.  To take a break, go for a walk, read, sit in a park, play with your kids.
  • Spend at least an hour a week writing and reflecting in a journal.  This is a secret of great leaders!
  • Take 5 minutes three times a day and just sit quietly.  Close your eyes and focus on just breathing.  You will begin to experience more clarity of mind and calmness as you practice.

Wishing you the best in making the rest of 2016 productive, healthy and happy !

Look forward to supporting your future training and coaching needs  Email me at or call 978-930-4660.
Sources:  Huffington Post Doing vs. Being, International Coach Academy Power Tools