Virtual hand raise if you feel like you’re busy 90% of the time?!
We’re all in that same boat….it’s the reality of our lives. I’m a single mom of two, I run my own company, I manage a team and I work with multiple different contracts. I totally get it; I’m busy. But here’s the cool part - I am 100% in the best place I’ve ever been with my productivity, my mindset and how I’m showing up for myself, for others and for my children.
But it wasn’t always like this. I used to addicted to the chaos of being BUSY. I used to think that if I was too scheduled I would feel suffocated. I used to think that I “did my best work at night”. I used to think that I was best under pressure and would get lots done right before a deadline (uh yeah, cause I had no choice!).
When I really started to dive into my mindset work and really analyzing the systems and habits I have in place, I started to realize that I was simply being busy….but not overly productive.
Productivity feels like progress. It moves you forward, closer to your goals. You end the day feeling satisfied, fulfilled and accomplished without feeling frustrated, exhausted or burned out.
Busy feels like chaos. You end the day feeling overwhelmed and exhausted, as if you’ve been running all day, putting out fires and playing catch up but you can’t really think of what you actually got accomplished that day.
Busy is addicting….many of us get addicted to that chaos. We get addicted to the fast pace, going all the time, tricking ourselves into believing that we are super productive. But are we really doing anything in those times? And are we doing the right things?
In the latest episode of my podcast, I’m going to walk you through how to identify if you’re productive or if you’re just busy and a few ways you can move forward in a more productive way.
Head over to the Change by Choice show on iTunes, Spotify or Podcast Addict and listen in to Episode 49: Stop Being Busy and Start Being Productive. http://bit.ly/CHANGEbyCHOICEpodcast
So how do we get out of the busy chaos and into real productivity? First off, let me just say that I totally understand that we all have a lot on our plates. We have jobs and families and responsibilities that are non-negotiable. This isn’t about slacking or doing less necessarily, it’s about the systems we have in place and how we set ourselves up for success.
First, it’s important to acknowledge where you are at with regards to be busy. Do you feel like you might be addicted to being busy? Are you stuck in that trap? Do you feel exhausted and overwhelmed most of the time? Are you living in survival mode? If you’re in survival mode, you’re in reaction. And if you’re in reaction, you’re not in choice; when you’re not in choice, you feel out of control. This leads to feeling bitter, resentful, angry and trapped. This is what I want you to avoid or get out of. Because we can’t compartmentalize these feelings and they really do create a negative ripple in our lives. It has long term effects on our health, both mental and physical. It impacts our relationships and how we show up in the world for other people. It matters; this matters so much more than just some tips on how to “get more done”.
1 - How you start your day is how you end your day
Do you have a solid morning routine? Are you allowing any space to think about how you want to show up in your day? Do you plan your day? Your week?
If you currently do zero planning of your day or your week, that’s where you need to start. Get a planner and start using it; organize yourself and your schedule. Time block in the different tasks that you have to get done in a day or a week. Look at the week ahead on Sunday or Monday morning and plan it out; what are the most important things you need to get done? What upcoming tasks and appointments do you have? When we aren’t clear and we don’t have this road map to follow, we just do whatever is thrown our way. Hours go by and you realize you haven’t actually gotten any of “your” jobs done yet.
The other benefit to keeping it in a planner of some sort is so that you can get it all out so that you’re no longer shackled by having to keep everything up in your head. What you want is for everything to be in a system so that you don’t have to worry about remembering everything; your brain has more room for creativity and productivity because it’s not also keeping track of everything else you have going on; you have a safety net in place so nothing gets missed. But you have to put in some work and become disciplined with this habit before it really starts to work. Start off with small, simple steps that you can start to feel the benefits from and then build on those. Take a few minutes each morning and then go back to your schedule and check-in periodically throughout the day. When we become disciplined with these habits in our lives, it allows us to have more freedom.
2 - Turn OFF your notifications
Unless it is 100%, absolutely essential for the work you are doing, turn off your notifications while you are immersed in a task. And even if you think it is essential for your work, I encourage you to really dig into that. Is it really? Or do you just crave knowing when something has come up? Again, it comes back to that addiction to the chaos. You have to make a decision on how you want to show up here. Checking and responding to every email and every notification you get, you are a slave to the priorities and the schedules of other people. It’s not your priority.
3 - Mindset
Chaos is avoidable; it’s all about how we decide we’re going to show up in it. That’s the decision you have to make. You can live in complete out of control chaos or you can handle things in a calm way, show up with more joy and feel more empowered by the choices you’re making. At the end of the day, if it’s in your life...you’re choosing it. And if you’re choosing it, do it with full engagement and joy.
I often work with people, and I’ve gone through this myself, who keep themselves so busy because it makes them feel purposeful. It helps them avoid difficult conversations or decisions they have to make. It helps them avoid any lingering issues they don’t want to deal with because they’re just “too busy”. So they keep going, head down, working and being busy all day without ever giving themselves the time and the space to really reflect and think about those areas. The result? They feel worse, more out of control, more resentful, more chaotic, more unhappy.
If this is you to any extent, I want you to stop avoiding. Ask yourself the questions you need to ask yourself and don’t give it the power that you think it has. Think about creating more space in your life so that you feel more in control.
You are the most important tool and the most important thing in your life. If you’re living in that chaotic wheel where you feel too busy and too exhausted most of the time, how long are you going to last a that pace? I’ve known so many people who have done this and hit a major burnout. I did it myself. Your body can only do so much for so long before it finally takes drastic measures to get you to slow down. Your choices matter.
Anything is better than nothing; if you can add in 5 minutes to the start of your day, that’s a huge step. If you can add in 5 minutes to reflect and meditate at the end of the day, awesome! Evaluate where you are at and start taking a couple steps to get out of that chaotic, busy wheel and into more peace and productivity.
Want more help and training with your productivity? We will be tackling this soon in the EDGE Insider! June is all about balance, which is a great start to getting out of the busy trap. I’d love for you to join us...check out the details here: https://charlotte-ferreux.mykajabi.com/p/theedgeinsider