Being busy has its pros, it can make you feel important, valuable and successful. However, when you’re so busy you aren’t taking enough guilt-free time off, it holds you back from reaching your full potential.
The best approach to solving your busyness is to focus on slowing down at your own pace. You don’t have to slam on the breaks and book a week-long wellness retreat to interrupt your cycle of overwhelm.
Our tips on changing your mindset and setting boundaries will help you improve your personal wellbeing AND your business growth.
To rework your time management, you need to prioritise what’s important as you approach your workload. Get a fresh to-do list or blank document and write out all of the tasks you do regularly, or want to do more but haven’t had the time for. Treat this as a brain dump to get it out of your head and onto a piece of paper, where you can then comb through it and pinpoint what only you can do, and what can be outsourced. Consider what is urgent vs what is important (or both or neither), and what deserves most of your time.
We have two resources to help you do this:
The best thing you can do to reduce busyness is to set boundaries, including scheduling downtime where you’re unavailable. By organising your calendar and making it known to your clients and team that you won’t be checking your emails or answering your phone before and after certain points in the day, it means that when you go offline you get to actually unplug.
Setting boundaries allows you to maximise your productivity during work hours and to unwind outside of them. Guilt-free!
Taking time to hit pause throughout your day is another good way to cope with being busy, and create a healthy work-life balance. The average day can bring a heap of stresses, from frustrating calls to tech malfunctions. So by taking a short break after a stressful moment, you won’t let it bottle up inside of you. You can do something as simple as cooking a nice lunch, going for a walk around the block, doing a quick tidy, workout or mediation, which can have a huge effect in calming you down.
People often think that they’re too busy to hit pause during their day, but you only need to take 5 to 15 minutes to completely turn a bad day around. If you can find 5 minutes to phone someone back, you can find 5 minutes to make a coffee!
4. Say No
We’ve all been at that point where we’re just so busy that we’re barely staying on top of your workload, and someone approaches you at the worst possible time. Whether it’s a prospective new client, a potential opportunity or someone asking for a favour, it can be hard to turn down even if you’re extremely overwhelmed. But it’s important to say no and put your own needs first. Learn how to say no assertively. Often the fear of burning bridges and ruining professional relationships is what leads people to feel obliged to say yes when they shouldn’t.
A good option instead is to make saying no easy. Have an email template or scripted response on the ready. Have your EA or VA buffer these requests for you. You can say no without letting anyone down, it just takes a little practice!
Take a minute to read these two articles then choose two or three suggestions you’ll implement to reduce your own busyness. Remember a habit takes about 90 days to stick so keep the suggestions in your diary, calendar, project management tool … so they stay top of mind.