Being busy is a terrible status symbol — it means exactly nothing except that you’re doing a lot of stuff (which doesn’t mean you’re actually accomplishing anything). What’s more, the stress of being busy is literally making us sick — the NHS estimates that 40% of all work-related illness in the UK is down to stress-related illness! Of course, we know that it can seem really hard to get out of that busy trap once you’re down in it. But it’s a lot easier than you think as long as you get your mindset on board first, shifting your focus to:
When you’re busy, you’re creating a lot of action — that is to say, you’re doing a lot of stuff. But you may not be progressing. All the action in the world isn’t as good as a little bit of progress. Think about it this way: if you’re running in circles, you’re very active, but you’re not going to get anywhere unless you start running in a straight line.
Of course, you’ve got to know where you’re going first…
There’s no point in trying to make progress with something if you don’t have a clear end goal in mind. (And this is one of the key reasons that people fall into action without progress). So after you’ve got your mindset straight, it’s time to start planning. Think about all of the different areas of your life, and ask yourself what you really want to happen.
Don’t hold yourself back when you think about what you want your life to look like — you can make incredible things happen! But once you’ve figured out your end goal, you’ve got to break the steps down so that you don’t get overwhelmed. Use the 80/20 rule to help you plan — 80% of your progress will come from 20% of your efforts. Where do you really need to put your efforts; what’s your 20%?
No more excuses
Life is what you make of it, so no more using busyness as an excuse! There’s a great saying along the lines of saying you’re too busy to do something really means that you’re just choosing not to do it, which is absolutely true. So if you’ve been using the busyness excuse, consider this your kick in the pants, get out there, and start creating a life you really love. And if you find yourself falling back into the busy habit, just remember: progress, not action.
Think for a minute about your life. Where are you having a lot of action, but no progress? And what steps are you going to take TODAY to change that? Tell us all about it in the comments!