Don’t you just love being busy?
You might say No when I ask you and you might even complain about it, but you won’t fool me!
The reality is that you’ll freak out if the fairy godmother pitches up at your doorstep this very second to take your busyness away.
How can I be so sure? I’ve been an addict myself and still fall off the wagon often.
We’re all addicted to the Cult of Being Busy!!
Here’s why I say so.
We love being busy because it makes us feel in demand and important. It became some sort of delusional measure of success to the outside world, especially among (busy) business professionals.
Listen to what people around you say over the next few days… or make that hours!
- “I’ve pulled an all-nighter to get this done.”
- “You have time to sleep 6 hours a night?! I operate on 2-3 hours a night.” (chest puffed out)
- “Hustle is what it’s all about baby!”
- “Who have time to eat? There are so much to do.”
- “Sleep when you’re dead.”
- ” I don’t know how I’m going to get through this week with everything I have to do.”
Apparently the more we have to do in as little time as possible, the more important we are.
Instead of bragging about being efficient + planning ahead to be more productive, we brag about our chaos and firefighting skills instead.
Not you? Listen closely when your phone rings or when you get an invite via email.
If you hear yourself say, “Sure, I’ll be there.” or “I can do that.” (and it won’t bring in money or is critical to your business’ success) and your calendar is already bursting at its seams, it’s time to stop.
You have a case of FOMO (fear of missing out) on your hands.
3 REASONS BUSY PEOPLE DON’T STOP
It took me forever to learn this lesson and my ego still trips me up.
Deep down we all want to be wanted, like the Chris Isaak song “I Want You To Want Me”.
We like to feel important and included in events. We love being needed by others + we love to “save the day”.
That’s why we keep on saying Yes when we’re already overflowing with other commitments.
There’s a huge difference between your ego and being confident. The ego gives us an illusion of importance + superiority while confidence is about knowing your worth.
Confidence says: “I’m valuable.” while Ego says: “I’m invaluable.” ~ 99u.com
The ego is also responsible when we play the victim or when we easily get offended, but more about this in a future post.
In the beginning, I felt like a junkie deprived of her next fix every time I said No to a meeting, a coffee or a networking event.
I thought the world would come to an end without me being there… and the surprising reality was, it didn’t!
I started asking myself 3 questions when I felt a case of FOMO coming on.
HOW TO CHANGE
#1 On a scale of 1-10*, how much do I really want to do this thing? (* 1 = lowest 10 = highest)
I realized that there were very few things that scored a 7 or above… interesting.
#2 How will this thing move me personally forward or move my business forward?
Is this the most important thing I can do for my business right now? How will it help me grow as a person?
#3 Will money be generated (within 1-3 months) as a result of saying Yes to this thing?
Unless the answers were crystal clear, I said No, no matter how awesome I thought it would be and how hard it was to say No + possibly disappoint people.
Remember, when we say Yes to something, we always say No to someone or something else.
Who Gets The Short End of The Stick Every Time You Say Yes to Something?
Are you saying No to your:
- self by not booking “me-time” to look after your health, fitness, energy levels + mental well-being?
- partner or family because you’re always on the go and never have time to be with them?
- business by not giving yourself a chance to work on important, but not urgent, tasks like planning + marketing?
- clients when you have to extend a deadline… again because you have too much on your plate?
An overflowing calendar has a cost, either to yourself, your clients, your family or your team. It’s your choice.
“Being busy is like a rocking chair, it gives you something to do but it doesn’t get you anywhere.“
~ ALICIA MENKVELD
GUILT + JOY
How many times have you dreamed about your holiday for months and when you get there, completely exhausted after you’ve done three weeks’ work in a week to ‘make up for the time you’ll be away’, you struggle to unwind or enjoy yourself?
I’ve been there many times myself.
We feel guilty when we take a much-deserved break. We feel guilty for stopping and wanting to do nothing. We feel lazy. And we feel most guilty when we start to enjoy doing nothing.
Normally this is after more than half your holiday is over and you finally dared to step away from your laptop!
“Joy is the most vulnerable emotion we experience, and if you cannot tolerate joy, you start dress rehearsing tragedy.” ~ Dr. BRENé BROWN
Have you ever thought,“This is too good to be true.” or “This can’t last.” just after you’ve realized how happy or loved you feel?
It’s called “foreboding joy” and Dr. Brené Brown explains it as anticipating bad things to happen when in reality nothing is wrong.
Brené is an American researcher + speaker who has done very interesting research on vulnerability and she wrote an amazing book, Daring Greatly: How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent and Lead that certainly changed my life and millions of other people’s lives.
The truth is, a break allows us to revitalize ourselves, be more creative + be a lot more productive.
SCARED OF FACING FEARS
Are you keeping busy to avoid facing fears? When was the last time you sat by yourself for 30 minutes with nothing but your own thoughts?
I love spending time on my own… being, dreaming or thinking. But we all know people who would rather be thrown in a glass box filled with their biggest phobias than spend 15 minutes alone with themselves.
Constant busyness could be a way of validating our own worth, not dealing with unresolved feelings or not having to face difficult confrontations.
Reflection is the answer to be stronger and smarter in yourself + better in business.
Once we press pause we can:
- gain insight + learn from the past by seeing the full impact of our decisions.
- deal with messy feelings + difficult confrontations (not nice but necessary for a happy, fulfilled life)
- see new possibilities because we look with fresh eyes.
HOW TO CHANGE
- Stop saying Yes to things that keep you busy + distracted.
- Stop saying Yes to things that don’t add any value to your life or business.
- Give yourself time to reflect + figure out what you’re running from.
- Get help if you struggle to face feelings, issues + fears.
- Schedule daily quiet time in your diary to improve productivity + problem solving.
- Try yoga or go for a walk if you struggle to sit still and think.
Nothing ever stops unless you make it stop.
Embrace the sound of silence. A study from Duke University suggests that it’s your brain’s best productivity hack, will improve your memory and enhance your awareness – all essential qualities in business.
What have you done to break free from the ‘cult of busy’? Leave your comment below.
Author: ALICIA MENKVELD Creator of: BUSINESS CONFIDENCE ACADEMY Alicia Menkveld, an award-winning entrepreneur for the last 16 years, loves to travel and lived on three continents to date. She is an international speaker, author and a trusted adviser to successful business owners and leaders. Alicia is an authority on business strategy, mindset and effectiveness for individuals and teams. Design your business to live the life YOU want.
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