All of the work my team and I have put in over the last five months to systemize the business and get better processes in place is paying off. I have fewer big tasks on my plate each day. I’m spending less time on work that feels urgent and more time executing projects that really count.
Yet I still feel busy. I still feel like I’m juggling a lot of pieces, and I still feel distracted each day by lots of little tasks that prevent me from focusing on the big picture.
He’s right. I’ve worked so hard over the last two years to grow the client side of Socialexis, gain momentum on AlexisGrant.com and launch The Write Life, that paddling as fast as I can has become a habit. And while I absolutely love my work, I don’t love that feeling busy has become my normal.
Now is the perfect time to change this. And not just because now is always better than later. By putting effective systems and processes in place, we’ve created an opening for me to escape the land of busy. That hole in the fence is right in front of me.
Yet, like any habit, feeling and acting busy isn’t easy to break. To do that, we have to make a conscious choice to avoid busyness, to replace it with something better.
From a practical standpoint, this means saying “no” more often so you can focus on projects that matter. It means letting go of the small things to make big things happen.
But the more important piece here is a change in mindset. Because the truth is, there will always be more you can do for your business, your career, your life. Especially if you’re a go-getter, you will never arrive at a place where everything is done.
This is difficult for me to come to terms with. I like my email inbox empty, my tasks checked off. I want all the ideas on my whiteboard to be executed, and executed well. When things are unfinished, I feel stressed out, and I work — busily — to complete them.
But life will always be a work in progress. We must choose our priorities, remembering that most of our obligations are actually choices. And when we do, when we realize we can’t do everything and decide instead to do a few things well, busyness will no longer get the front seat. Your true priorities will be up front instead, right where they belong.
Are you in the habit of being busy? What could you do to beat that mindset?