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How to Overcome the Busyness Epidemic
How many times a day do you hear someone say they’re busy?
How many times a day do you say it? I bet you $100 if you go and ask someone how they’re doing at work or in business, nine times out of ten their response will be, “Busy.” What’s the problem with this you may ask, isn’t it good to be busy? If your busyness is effective and you’re achieving what you want while remaining aligned with your values and looking after yourself; then yes I’d absolutely say it’s good. However, if your busyness is actually just making you tired, overwhelmed, preventing you from achieving everything you want and living the life you desire; then I’d say it’s probably not so good.
Sadly it’s the latter where most of us tend to play. Somehow we’ve decided as a society that busyness equals success, so as long as we’re ‘on the go’ all the time then we think we can trick ourselves into believing we’re successful, we’ll be more respected by others, and we can allow ourselves to feel worthy in this world. What does that mean? As a society, we’re knackered, unhealthy and pretty bloody miserable.
It’s no coincidence that at the same time as this busyness epidemic we’re also experiencing a lifestyle-related disease epidemic. As well as the unnecessary physiological responses that are constantly being triggered as we run around in fight or flight mode, our thoughts and behaviours are also being influenced causing us to make poor decisions and get our priorities completely confused.
So how can we overcome this, take back control of our bodies, businesses and lives, and move forward towards where we really want to be?
Well, these four simple life audits will be a great place to start:
- Time audit.
Let’s start by figuring out where you’re actually spending your time. I can say with absolute certainty that you will have more time than you think you do, but first, you need to get a clear picture of the current situation. So commit to tracking everything you do for one week, and write down each task and how long it takes you. Now before you say it, yes I know this sounds like a pain in the butt and will steal even more of your time away, but think about this in terms of short-term pain for long-term gain. If you spend a little bit of time now, you’ll gain an enormous amount in the future. That sounds like something worth investing in hey?
- Priority audit.
While you’re tracking your time, set a moment aside to look at what your priorities are in life. Notice how I say, ‘in life’ because we tend to forget about things outside our business and work when we’re busy, but actually, it’s these other things that give us the energy and motivation to achieve all our goals. So start by brain dumping all the things that light you up, and you’re passionate about, and all the things you must have present in your life in order to feel good. What are the key themes of these things? Maybe it’s health, security, fun, growth, relationships, love or adventure? Whittle these themes down to your top five or six; these are your priorities in life, and these become the basis of your blueprint for everything you do.
- Goals audit.
Next, have a look at your life goals. Where do you want to be in ten years time? What will you have achieved by then? Again, remember to include all the elements of your life; health, family, leisure, business, financial position, home, assets etc. Be as specific as you can with the detail, so you know exactly what you need to do in order to achieve it. This forms the second part of your blueprint, and so now you have a guide that you can refer to when prioritising, both in business and in life. If something doesn’t fit with your blueprint, it will not serve you, and what you want in the long term; so either delegate it or get rid of it.
- Return on investment audit.
So now you know what’s important to you at your core and what you really want, and you know where you’re spending your time and energy currently, you can go back through and identify which 20% of your tasks give you 80% return on your investment of time. You can use your blueprint to decide your 20% – this will be made up of those things that serve it best. Once you have your list, ask yourself, “If I committed to doing these 20% tasks every day, would I achieve what I want?” Keep adjusting that list until the answer is, “Yes.”
The truth is, you can’t do it all, so the more you try, the more you’re going to make yourself unnecessarily tired, unhappy and unfulfilled.
So by creating a strong foundation and clear focus of what you truly want to achieve, in all areas of your life, and committing to only doing the tasks which serve that, you will without a doubt get there much more quickly and effectively, and free yourself from this busyness epidemic that is holding you back.
“The opinions expressed by Smallville Contributors are their own, not those of www.smallville.com.au"
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