(Hint: over 50% of business professionals across all industries are succumbing to it)
Before you read this article, open the internet, and type in “How many business professionals are busy?” For a little extra fun, substitute business professionals with your specific industry. You’ll see pages and pages of results. Studies all saying the same thing—more than half of people are busy (some studies report well over 75%) and stressed because of it.
Busyness, not to be confused with business, is the top impediment to adopting a growth mindset. Most business gurus will tell you a growth mindset is exactly what you need to thrive as a business owner or high-performing employee/leader.
So why are we getting in our own way and what can we do about it?
Why Is a Growth Mindset Important?
A growth mindset is crucial for business owners and leaders. It helps them adapt to challenges, embrace learning, and continuously improve their business.
Here are some reasons why a growth mindset is important:
- Resilience: A growth mindset allows you to view challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. Instead of being discouraged by failures, you see them as valuable feedback and adjust your strategies accordingly.
- Innovation and Creativity: A growth mindset encourages business pros to think outside the box and explore new ideas by employing experimentation and taking calculated risks. Innovation helps businesses stay competitive in a dynamic market.
- Learning and Skill Development: Leaders with a growth mindset prioritize learning and personal development. They seek knowledge, acquire new skills, and stay updated with industry trends so they can make informed decisions and adapt to evolving customer demands. Speaking of…
- Adaptability: Markets and consumer preferences change. Business pros with a growth mindset are flexible and adaptable, willing to pivot their business model, explore new markets, or diversify their product/service offerings to stay relevant and seize new opportunities.
- Building Relationships and Networks: A growth mindset encourages leaders to seek collaboration and build strong networks because they understand the value of partnerships, mentorship, and seeking advice from industry experts. By leveraging these relationships, they can access resources, support, and new business opportunities.
While a growth mindset is critical to business growth these days, many people are feeling overwhelmed and way too busy. If we prize innovation, and we recognize professional growth and creative thinking are essential for today’s businesses to thrive, we must find ways to slay the biggest impediment to developing a growth mindset—busyness. Here’s why:
When We’re Busy, We Suffer From…
- Lack of Time for Reflection: A growth mindset requires self-reflection and introspection to identify areas for improvement and develop new strategies. When we are busy and overwhelmed with tasks, we won’t (have or) take the time to reflect on our experiences, learn from our mistakes, and adjust our approach, all critical to growth.
- Limited Mental Space for Learning: A growth mindset focuses on continuous learning and seeking new knowledge and skills. However, when we are occupied with numerous responsibilities and tasks, we may struggle to allocate mental space and time for learning opportunities, such as reading, attending workshops, or engaging in professional development. When we’re excessively busy and find some downtime, we tend to use it for recuperation and performing unproductive activities as a “break.”
- Reactive Decision-Making: Busy schedules lead to reactive decision-making rather than proactive and strategic thinking. When we are constantly putting out fires and responding to immediate (and seemingly unpredictable) demands, it becomes challenging to think long-term, plan for growth, and consider innovative solutions.
- Lack of Prioritization: Being busy can result in a focus on urgent but less important tasks, rather than prioritizing activities that contribute to long-term growth and development. This can prevent us from allocating time and resources to initiatives that foster a growth mindset, such as experimenting with new ideas, investing in skill development, or building relationships with mentors and industry experts.
- Burnout and Exhaustion: Chronic busyness can lead to burnout and exhaustion, which kill motivation, creativity, and overall well-being. When we are drained and overwhelmed, it becomes challenging to maintain a growth mindset because we lack the energy and enthusiasm needed to embrace challenges, persist through setbacks, and seek out new learning opportunities.
While you may support the idea of adopting a growth mindset conceptually, and recognize its benefits, unless you are willing to scale back on busyness, instituting a growth mindset will be impossible. To overcome these challenges to attaining a growth mindset, it’s essential to prioritize and manage your time effectively. Look to delegate tasks. Set boundaries. Create dedicated time for reflection, learning, and strategic planning (schedule it in your calendar). If you’re in a position to do so, create a supportive environment that encourages a growth mindset. Foster a culture of learning and innovation within the business to help overcome the impediments of busyness.