Is it good to be busy?
It’s funny. When you ask someone how their business is going, they’re likely to say they’re “crazy busy,” which we’d probably interpret as a good thing. Busy = Successful. Busy = Thriving. Busy = Maxed Out … in a good way. Couldn’t be better. That’s the implication.
But is it? Good to be busy, that is?
That would depend, wouldn’t it? If you’re a business owner, NOT being busy certainly isn’t good, that’s for sure, but it’s important not to confuse staying busy and putting in long hours with doing important, targeted, well-planned out work that yields clear results.
It’s not a case of, “She who has the fullest calendar wins.”
What, exactly, are you busy doing?
Are you being productive … reaching your goals? Are you being efficient … using your time well? Is what you’re doing enjoyable despite the long hours you’re putting in?
Important questions … but there are deeper questions you need to ask.
Is what you’re doing the highest, best use of your time? Because, after all, we’re always making choices, aren’t we? When we choose to do a particular thing, we’re also choosing NOT to do EVERYTHING ELSE during that allotted time, be it business-related or personal.
Are you attending to the important and not just the urgent, to invoke Stephen Covey’s wonderful distinction … in your business and your life?
My problem is I was pretty fully attending to both in both! And boy, were my days ever long and was I ever paying a physical and emotional price. I started burning out.
Long time readers know I love what I do and I’m prone to working super long days six days a week, kind of by default, while adding in church activities, and training, and taking nutrition classes. It’s gotten crazy at times. I’d throttle back, and then a big project would come in and I’d go full bore again. I’m sure there are plenty of you out there who can completely relate.
I have to stop and consciously consider whether I’m making the very best use of my time and carving out enough time for the important things … not just the seemingly endless list of urgent tasks that every business person has to handle.
And sometimes conscious consideration isn’t what’s needed to get you to really change. Sometimes it’s an epiphany.
Several months ago, my daughter and baby grandson moved in with us. You want to know what’s most important to me now? Being there in the morning when “my baby” toddles out of his room in the morning looking for Nana.
What could be more important than that? When what’s truly important comes running into your arms so very happy to see you and be with you, everything else instantly takes a back seat.
My husband, my family, and that grandbaby mean the world to me and how can I be there for them if I’m always working? I can’t.
So, what do I do? What do you do?
You know the business isn’t going to run itself. It takes hours of your time. That’s a fact.
The answer? It isn’t about walking away from work. It’s about being intentional, sharpening your focus, and maximizing your effort. Hours logged don’t necessarily translate to things accomplished. Success doesn’t require being crazy busy.
I’ve cut back to a normal person’s schedule, roughly eight hours a day five days a week, and the business is thriving.
Part of why that’s possible is that I’m not as stressed. My adrenals glands aren’t as taxed. My hormones aren’t out of whack. That allows me to give the best of what I have to everything I’m doing.
It’s about being the best me when I’m working and the best me when I’m not working.
It’s okay to be busy. It comes with the territory.
Just don’t let your busy-ness take over your life.
All opinions, advice, and experiences of guest bloggers/columnists are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions, practices or experiences of Solo Practice University®.