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Episode 18: Busy is the new stupid


Alex Bryan and Dustin Aho, mission integration executive, talk about taking time in the new year to reassess priorities.

Alex Bryan and Dustin Aho

In Episode 18 of our Together Inspired Podcast, host Alex Bryan sat down with Adventist Health’s mission integration executive, Dustin Aho, to discuss setting priorities and making sure the company mission is at the forefront of work. This is a common struggle for many, especially during incredibly busy times. How do you live the mission in the middle of craziness? When life gets busy, how does the company mission become a priority instead of just a competency?

At Adventist Health, our mission is to Live God’s Love. It’s important to remember that we’re using the business of healthcare to fulfill that mission, and not the other way around. Dustin points out that a good way to remember this is to ask why the company hired you. Did they hire you to file papers? Did they hire you to complete a report? Or, as in Adventist Health’s case, did they hire you to live God’s love first, and are these tasks secondary to that main mission?

Dustin also addresses how we see value in others. Particularly in the U.S., we assign value to people based on their accomplishments. If you’re not busy, you’re not creating value. However, that is counter to the mission.

As Dustin points out, “People have value because they are children of God. We must find ways to authentically love people because they exist.” He further expresses that the mission isn’t attainable if we’re constantly busy. We can’t live God’s love if we’re so busy we don’t leave time for what’s really important, like family time, quiet time, relaxation or devotional time. When we’re too busy to make time for these core necessities, we fall short of the mission. As Dustin says, “Busy is the new stupid.”

Dustin admits that it can be hard to keep that balance intact. Here are some tips to help:

Prioritize tasks: Especially at work, we can get bogged down with last-minute requests and small tasks. Answering email alone can be a huge time suck with very little productivity to show. Make sure that the vital items get done, and then fill in your remaining bandwidth with those smaller non-urgent items. Try using the rock, pebbles and sand analogy to determine how to fill your time.

Commit to yourself: Make sure you’re making “me time” for yourself. What do you need to live your happiest and most fulfilled life? Is it time to care for your body with exercise? Time to feed your soul through prayer and reflection? Fun time with your family that isn’t running errands or helping with homework? Whatever you need to be happy, make it a priority.

Unplug: We know it’s hard, but try! Determine a time at which you will stop checking emails or social media and stick to it. You can’t be running all day every day. Your brain and body need breaks.

Say what you need: Are you feeling overwhelmed and need help? Your team might not realize you’re drowning in tasks. Ask for help if you need it, keep your boss and co-workers updated on the status of deliverables and adjust your schedule to have reasonable deadlines. It’s easier to tackle projects if everyone is on the same page.

Take a moment: Stop and remember the company mission. Ask yourself if you are living the mission or just making it a competency like everything else. Make the mission a priority and everything else should fall in place.

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