You know what it’s like to be too busy. We’ve all been there: juggling a million things, running around with our hair on fire, and feeling like you’re about to drop from exhaustion. At the same time, you might have an adrenaline buzz. I mean, look at you! You are killing it! Multitasking like a boss. Getting some delicious affirmations from your peers or boss or clients about how fast, efficient and effective you are.
However, you may not realize that being too busy is extremely counterproductive. Especially once you hop on that “too busy” rollercoaster.
This is perhaps one of the biggest challenges new managers and new business owners face. It can derail real success in favor of rushing in unprepared.
Study after study has shown that busyness makes us less productive, less effective, and more likely to make mistakes because we’re unable to pay close attention to the job we’re doing in that moment. In addition, other studies have shown that when you’re under a lot of pressure, your brain doesn’t work as well. That may manifest as trouble focusing and remembering things, and show up as careless errors, or worse, lack of strategic and creative thinking. That last one is perhaps the most important if you are trying to grow a business.
And what’s even worse is that the more stressed you are, the harder it is to switch gears and relax. Personally, I experienced a sense of guilt if I shifted gears into “down time”. So even if you do have a few free minutes, you’re not able to fully enjoy them or use them effectively.
A few more problems with being too busy are:
You may miss important deadlines.
You may forget to do essential things.
You may neglect your health.
You may neglect your relationships.
You may become stressed and anxious.
You may face more illness.
You may create a burnout situation.
You may skip strategic time in order to check off more to-do items.
Being too busy is honestly one problem after another. You may even be too busy to notice how ineffective you are in almost every area of your life. Plus, of course, the amount of joy you can feel when you’re overworked and too busy is greatly lessened than if you try to schedule and organize your life in a way that creates a balance with all areas of your life.
So, what can you do about it?
Recognize that being too busy is a problem. It’s not something to be proud of or boast about. It’s something to be avoided. (No matter how much deliciousness you feel in those kudos for doing it.)
List your priorities and stick to them. If you know your needs versus wants, you can schedule them first. (Keep in mind, these are your priorities, not your clients’ or your partner’s.)
Simplify your lifestyle and routine.Focus on your goals and what is most important to you. Identify what brings you joy and what you can live without. Let go of what doesn't serve you and make room for what does.
Organize your time and space.By decluttering your life physically and emotionally, you can make space for what truly matters.
Learn to say no. (And what to say hell yes to.) You really can do anything. You just can’t do everything, and you shouldn’t try. When you’re already stretched thin, the last thing you need is to take on even more, as validating as it may feel in the moment.
Make time for Yourself. You need to schedule some downtime every day, even if it’s just for a few minutes. You must turn off phones, log off from work, and focus on relaxing and recharging. Set boundaries and practice enough self-care. Paradoxically, studies show you will actually get more done.
Get enough sleep. Plan to sleep at least 7 to 9 hours a night. Sleep is a crucial part of health and well-being, but it’s often the first thing to go when you’re busy. Ensure you’re getting enough rest so we can be at your best—which happens to also be your most productive.
Ask for help and delegate. You can’t do it all alone, and when you finally admit that you’ll suddenly become much more productive. Asking for help shows strength, not weakness.
The Alternative to Busy
Ultimately, being too busy squeezes out the very thing it is meant to create: priorities. When leaders learn to set aside other people’s agendas, and focus on their true priorities, then they can grow the business, create more wealth, enjoy the process, and achieve their objectives more efficiently and reliably. If you suspect you might be too busy, then check out last week’s free download, The Eisenhower Matrix. It will help you see how much of your time is being consumed on the urgent and unimportant, instead of on the critical priorities needed to move you forward.
And then grab a complimentary discovery call, so we can get you just the right amount of busy on the things that really matter most.