It is a common sense and knowledge that the normal process of getting things done are having goals mapped out and action plans laid out, then followed by carrying out all the follow through actions. We hankered down and get busy doing all those things we think that are necessary to reach our goals. So being busy is good, as there are activities, we are getting work done and kept occupied. However, does being busy really signify that we are on the way to reaching our goals and success?
Not really, you may have noticed that sometimes after a hard day’s work, you feel really tired and wondering if all that hard work really necessary and useful. There are also times where you are in that space where time just fly, feeling satisfied doing all that work and confident that it will bring you closer to your goal. When you compare the two scenarios, most likely you will find that when you felt tired after a busy day is when you are doing things that do not really serve your purpose.
When we stop and look deeper into our busyness, we realised that we are filling our life with things that may not be important. We jump from a networking session to another, one meeting after another, writing papers, notes of meeting and plans one after another. When we looked at our calendar, it is simply packed. We feel proud thinking busy equals success. Sometimes, we are attending doing work that may not yield anything, yet we continue to do so. In so doing, these are some impacts we may have felt:
1) In terms of our mental health when we feel overwhelmed, stressed and burnout;
2) An excuse we can use with convenience;
3) Losing the ability to say “No” at the right time;
4) Possibility of missing an opportunity;
5) Losing control over our life;
6) Losing our social circles and social life;
7) Losing our ability to see big picture;
8) Creating a false sense of security and success by being busy;
9) Becoming too hard on ourselves when busyness becomes your identity; and
10) Unable to set priorities in our life.
There is a need to drop the association between success and being busy. You can be successful without being busy. Instead of cramping more and more things to do and multitasking all the time, we need to learn to cut back and create time for ourselves. This may be an uncomfortable thought for a person who is so use to being busy all the time. One may start to think, if I am not busy that what should I be doing? Would not this resulting in me not being able to reach my goals?
If one thinks that no being busy means that one is complacent and not competitive, then one is mistaken! We should not equate being busy, which resulted in constant motion with progress. When we stop being busy, we will realized how much control of our life have we lost and missing all those moments that are truly important and meaningful for us. So being free does not mean we are not investing in areas that will help us to succeed, reaching our goals and to enjoy our life to the fullest. We can stop being busy through the following methods:
1) Concentrate on the Essential:
Remember the Action Plan that was mentioned in my second article “Having A NAP”? If not, I do encourage you to have a read. In the Action Plan template, I included a portion for you to determine how important is each of the goal. This is to determine the priority for each goal you have and hence allowing you to decide the amount of energy, time, effort and other resources to be allocated to each goal. Thus, helping you to concentrate only on the essentials.
2) Learn to Say “No”:
The result of having priorities set and knowing what area is important is that you become ore focus. This in turn allows and gives you the courage and confident to say “No” to those things or activities that do not add towards your goals. It will also reduce the amount of activities or things you have to do, thereby giving you more time for other things.
3) Doing is to Achieve:
The purpose of doing something is to achieve our goal. So once you find that the things you do are not yielding any results or bring you closer to you goals, then it is time to stop what you are doing and evaluate. The main thing about an action is not about the doing, but it is about the achieving. If being busy by only doing with no results, you are being busy for the sake of being busy, that is being unproductive.
4) Block Time:
Craving out time and blocking it ensure that you have time for yourself, your loved ones and those who are important to you. These are time when you can not only seek self-development, personal growth and self-care, but also to catch up, develop and maintain those relationships that will create social support and acceptance. By craving time out, you will also begin to have a clearer boundary between work and non-work time to disconnect, refresh and recharge.
5) Check your motivation for busyness:
There is such a thing about being addicted to busyness. So, you may have to ask yourself why are you motivated to be busy? Where does this desire for being busy coming from? By answering the questions, you will be able to find the root cause for your busyness and finding an appropriate solution to overcome the root cause. Sometime it is good for you to explore this with a coach, who can help you get to the root cause and setting you up to overcome this and have a sustainable performance and success.
Life is more than being busy and nothing else. Not being busy is nothing to be guilty about. Instead there are more important things in life, like learning, important relationships with loved ones, health and being able to plan, control and see a bigger picture for your life. Hence, being busy for the sake of being busy will bring us nowhere but unhappiness and unfulfilled life,