Our latest Quest2017 prompt is provided by author Jocelyn K. Glei, who’s obsessed with how we can find more creativity and meaning in our daily work. You can learn more about her and her work here. Jocelyn asks:

How can you shift your focus from “keeping busy” to “leaving a legacy”?

Jocelyn’s question is at the heart of the changes I made in my life in 2012, and continues to be at the center of the work I do with nonprofits and service-centered professionals. Four years ago I stepped away from my nonprofit leadership role. While I was committed to the organization’s mission, I was feeling depleted and burned out. I was ready for less busyness and more meaning; higher quality work with lower levels of stress; for a work rhythm that allowed time to think, and supported creativity and innovation. This was not the fault of the organization I worked for; the root of the problem was in the our culture’s cult of busy.

I earned a certificate in life coaching and set up my solopreneur coaching and consulting business. It took me a while to come down from my no-room-to-breathe, barely-time-for-a-bathroom-break pace of work. It finally dawned on me that I could be a nicer boss to myself, and created a flexible work schedule with breathing room – breaks for exercise, reading, reflecting and learning.

Now I alternate bursts of focused productivity with time for rest and renewal. When I have business travel, I block out the time needed to prepare before I go and to catch up when I return. I use what I have learned to help other service-centered professionals get un-busy, and to support nonprofit leaders in promoting their staff members’ resilience and well-being.I work hard, but not the crazy-busy kind of hard. I do work I love,  which both takes energy from me and it gives me energy to me.

Getting un-busy is not about getting a great new time management app. It’s about identifying what really matters and making room in your life for those things. Yes, it takes some time to get un-busy. The first step is setting aside some time to explore where your busyness comes from, what “busy” means to your identity, and, perhaps what busyness helps you avoid. Then you use your self-knowledge, your values and your vision for your life to craft a path to a way of being with less busy-work and more meaning.

Jocelyn’s question prompts me to be clear about the impact I want to make with my life, so that I continue to focus my time and energy on what matters most. This is especially meaningful right now, at a time when the results of the 2016 election call me to exercise greater leadership, be more visible and take action more often. Here’s how I want to use my time, energy and creativity

  • I want to create safe spaces where people can do their best thinking and best work.
  • I want to help create a world in which humans can be and do their best.
  • I want to be a bringer of hope – for if we want a better world, one in which we can be better humans, we need hope. Not the false hope that tells us to not to worry, everything will be fine, but the hope that courageously faces the unknown, sees possibility, and takes action to make the possible real.

What about you? How can you shift your focus from “keeping busy” to “leaving a legacy?”


Jocelyn K. Glei’s is the sixth prompt of Quest2017, in which Jeffrey Davis of Tracking Wonder engages 12 visionaries in providing prompts for a growing pack of business artists, creatives, and professionals in seeking to make 2017 a meaningful, successful and important year. We reflect, share our discoveries, connect, and support each other. Over three years of Questing, I’ve made new friends and professional contacts, contributed my best to others and been inspired by the best version of myself and my work reflected back to me. You can still join us. The Quest is free, and it’s up to you if you respond to the prompts privately, within our Facebook group or by blogging and posting in social media. Check out Quest 2017 here.


See what other Questers are saying: [more to come!]

Elaine Fletcher Chapman  – Quest2017-Legacy


My previous Quest 2017 posts

As a Human Being

Do You Love Yourself Enough?

Uniquely You

A Force for Good

Sacrifice: Risk, Joy, and the Greater Good

Previous posts on busyness

Sharing and Taking My Medicine: 4 Ways to Cope

What’s Most Important?

Getting UnBusy In the Summertime

Stop, In the Name of What Matters

Time is Not the Enemy

Stop What You’re Doing

How to Un-Busy Your Life

How to Stop Being So Busy