Busy busy, rush rush, do more, achieve more, be more.
In today’s day and age being busy is praised. Being stressed and overworked is lauded as being successful and being completely and utterly drained on every level has become our new norm. Is it worse since the pandemic arrived last year – from my side, I can certainly say that I feel it is.
You know the drill - drag yourself out of bed, kick off the workday, drink too much coffee, sit in endless Zoom meetings, hoover down a sandwich at the laptop, emails and reports to complete, go for a quick run because exercise is important, yell at the kids for making a noise, more reports and eventually dragging yourself from your laptop to eat dinner, while sitting on your phone and checking social media and eventually falling asleep on the couch at 9 pm because you just cannot keep your eyes open any longer. Rinse. Repeat.
We all know the saying ‘money rich and time poor', right? But did you know that this saying has been around for over 20 years, so those of us who are in, or are approaching our 40’s have been living a reality filled with time scarcity for almost half our life – and the half where we have been employed or running a business, at that!
So, we have a lot to do and not enough hours in the day. But how does that limit our potential?
If you fail to plan you plan to fail
Now, I am not saying that everything I do is planned down to the last second, but I do plan my day and my week in advance as best I can.
I allocate time to what is most vital and make sure that I tackle that during my peak performance hours (those times when you are most alert, and energy filled). That way I know that I am giving the most important tasks my full attention when I am at my best.
Trying to complete vital tasks when you are exhausted is limiting your potential to showcase your absolute best. Be it writing, or creating pitches, whatever it is, do it when you are at your freshest and can give the task the time, and energy that it deserves.
Overcommit to under-deliver
Want to underdeliver? Then for sure make certain that you have over-committed yourself and you will be right on target.
It is okay to say no to things on occasion. It is okay to turn things down. You know what happens when you over-commit, right? You add extra stress on top of what is already a simmering pot and expect it not to boil over. You beat yourself up, and the cycle commences again.
Understanding that you cannot be everywhere all the time is a huge step in the right direction – and selecting to attend events/meetings that are most vital and will have the most impact on your job or life is the first step in weeding out the fluff and adding more meat to your proverbial plate.
Losing the personal touch
When we work like automatons, we become automatons. We become so slick and fast at juggling that we forget to actually stop and listen. This could be to your boss, to your clients, to your kids – anyone.
I honestly believe the greatest gift that you can give anyone is to listen to them, hear them and appreciate what they have said. I have spoken about listening to respond versus listening to understand before – and this brings me back to that topic again.
When we are truly heard we feel valued, and when we feel valued by someone, we are more likely to give them more of our time and feel more of a connection with them.
We want this, in a world of rushing and busyness, we crave that feeling of being heard and understood. You could be sabotaging your connections and customer relationships in your aim to become more efficient and faster at what you do.
Just think about that for a while.
So, is there an easy solution? No. But removing the time scarcity mindset is going to go a long way towards moving you into a better state of mind, a better state of emotional wellbeing and a better state of life. Running like a hamster on a wheel is not sustainable, and we all know it.
Stop. Breathe. Stretch. Take a walk. Hug the cat. Kiss your kids. You will still have time to work tomorrow, I promise.