Are you Stuck in Bad Busy (instead of Good busy)?
Is your energy being sucked dry?
Are you running around, super-busy, but not getting anything done?
It’s the kind of busy that makes you dread the day ahead, hoping things will change – but they don’t.
Good Busy vs. Bad Busy
There are two kinds of busy…
In bad busy, you spend a lot of time in reactive mode, putting out fires. Or, you spend too much time on work outside your comfort zone (like trying to learn how to use software that a 20-something could figure out in minutes.)
If that sounds like you, I’ve got some news: you’re a four-alarm blaze headed to fast and total burnout.
And then there is good busy.
Good busy is a lovely state of being. You start your day optimistic and energized to tackle what you set out the day before. You end the day feeling rewarded and proud about what you accomplished, the people you spent time with and the extra time you carved out for just you.
And get this – you achieve more.
Your productivity is exponentially higher because you’re not forcing your reluctant mind and body through undesirable tasks. Your mindset is focussed and you are working in areas where you’re highest value can be achieved.
Is this you?
Do you expend energy wisely? Here are 7 questions to ask yourself:
1) Do you have a sense of dread about going to work?
2) Is it common for you to feel frustration or annoyance at work?
3) Do you spend less than 80% of your day doing tasks you genuinely enjoy?
4) At the end of the day, do you shudder at the thought of doing it all again tomorrow?
5) Do you spend more time on other people’s priorities rather than your own?
6) Is your experience of life less fulfilling than you would like it to be?
7) Are you less optimistic about life than you used to be?
If you answered ‘Yes’ to any of these questions, you’re likely in the ‘bad busy’ zone.
I urge you to evaluate how you spend your time to maximize your effectiveness and personal satisfaction.
If you responded ‘No’ to most questions, you understand how to be ‘good busy’.
Your mission is to stay in this zone. As a working woman, it’s easy to slip up by shifting to reactive mode or taking on tasks that are better left for others. Resist those urges and move to good busy.
Moving to Good Busy
To be good busy, you need to become acutely aware of what gives you energy and what depletes it. As an entrepreneur and business coach I need to constantly bring my attention back to what counts.
And here’s a formula that I work from:
Spend at least 80% of your day on activities that give you energy. This requires planning – don’t get caught in a cycle of chasing shiny objects – delegate or outsource the rest. When you focus on what’s important and gives you energy work becomes rewarding, self-doubt dissolves and you build willpower.
When you delegate, everyone will be better for it. The stuff that sucks your energy will be a sweet spot for someone else.
This post was originally published in 2016 and has been updated.
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