You see a friend in the line at Starbucks. She asks, “How are you and the kids?” You reply, “Busy."
If you’re like most Americans today, that’s probably a common response for you. Your work schedule is packed, your social calendar (if existent) is jammed, and your kids haven’t been home for more than an hour straight since the last snow day.
We’ve learned to wear our busyness like a badge of honor. We hustle and bustle about saying, “Busy! Too busy!” Unfortunately, busyness is a completely useless state of modern living.
Being so busy you can’t breathe means you’re missing out on a lot. And, what’s more, your busyness is keeping you from realizing a greater abundance.
If you’re a business owner, busyness can be downright dangerous. Sure, you want to be productive, you’ve got the drive to hustle, and you make cool stuff happen every day. Yet, being busy doesn’t just put you in danger of burning out, risking your health, or missing quality time with your family. Being busy can put your whole business in jeopardy.
Busyness can’t be sustained by you — and it certainly isn’t going to be sustained by anyone else. So it’s time for a new plan.
After all, you’re in business, not busyness.
When I work with business owners, busyness is one of the first things we tackle. If you’re ready to slash your busyness and lean into your business, try these 3 things (and I don’t mention delegation once!):
1) Choose a destination.
Often business owners are unclear about where they really want to end up. I find that choosing a destination about 6-12 months in the future is helpful. That’s the one and only goal I allow my clients to have and we call it their Chief Initiative.
Their Chief Initiative allows them to focus all their actions, plans, and team-building on that goal. That focus makes decision-making and prioritizing much easier.
2) Focus on what makes you most effective.
Leverage: it’s what allows you to move heavy objects with minimal force. Well, in your business, there are many heavy objects. You’ve got value creation, lead generation, and sales on one side. And there’s team management, operations, and administration on the other side.
Many of us learned “best practices” at one point or another that we still use to this day in an effort to move these heavy objects. If you feel like one or many of these things just don’t budge, even though you’re using tried and true practices, you’re not alone.
Instead of doing what you’ve been taught, trying leveraging what makes you most effective. How are you most effective at meeting new people? Getting team buy-in? Generating new ideas? Communicating about your product? Stop worrying about the right way and start doing things your way.
I’ve been working on the same big plan for the last 3 years in my own business. We're finally entering the final phase (and, boy, does it feel good!). We’ve created a methodology, launched a coaching program based on that methodology, trained others on that methodology, expanded the coaching program with their help, and now are finalizing the system for training more people on the methodology as my business moves into a licensing model.
Tackling a plan of this magnitude took a lot of waiting. It’s important to remember that just because you’re not actively working on something doesn’t mean things aren’t happening. At least, it shouldn’t mean that.
When you have a clear destination and you’re focused on what makes you effective, your plans will work even when you’re not. You’ll create the systems you need and trigger chain reactions that get you closer to your goals.
Being constantly busy isn’t a badge of honor, it very often means there is something wrong. Instead of hustling to get it all done, take a step back and see where there’s an opportunity to reprioritize and relax.
Tara Gentile is a member of the DailyWorth Connect program. Read more about the program here.