How often have you answered the question “how are you?” with “I’m really busy?” I know I have said this A LOT. But –
When did having a busy life become a badge of honour?
When did being busy become a sign of success or happiness?
Don’t get me wrong being busy, can of course mean you’re doing well with your business or perhaps you’re busy doing lots of fun things that you love. But I think we need to get some perspective.
When we say we’re busy, are we genuinely happy about it?
Does it feel good or does it feel uncomfortable?
It’ll mean different things to different people and we all have our own measure of what success or happiness means to us as individuals. But be clear with yourself.
How do YOU feel about being busy?
Are you busy doing the things you want to be busy doing? If so, great. If not, it might be time to take a step back and have a think.
Two of my friends in particular spring to mind as I think about this topic. One LOVES being busy and doesn’t like not having lots to do. Just hearing about her week/weekend makes me feel tired. The other friend finds being busy with lots to do very stressful. Also, what each of these lovely ladies describes as their busy week, differs greatly. The lover of busyness wouldn’t think the other lady’s week busy at all, and the non-lover of busyness would probably feel physically sick if she heard what the busy lady was up to.
The first question I ask every client in our meetings together, is “how are you?”. They all know that I want to know the truth rather than a very accommodating response of “fine thanks, how are you?” When their answer is that they are really busy, it is rarely said with a smile. It is often a sign of them feeling overwhelmed and/or stressed. That’s where I come in. What we do is –
- Break down what the busyness includes. We make a list.
- Then we discuss each item on the list and I help the client work out how to approach dealing with it. Does it in fact need to be done? Does it need to be done by them? When do it need to be done? How best could they approach getting it done?
- Then we create an action plan to help them achieve what needs to be done- setting out the when, what and how for each item.
- The client has some accountability from me too if they want, with me following up with them to see how they are getting on with the action plan.
For one of my clients, however many items on our original list of things to get done, I only give her 3 actions to complete. We have recognised that too long a “to do” list is what causes her stress and she procrastinates, not achieving anything as she doesn’t know where to start. So, she actions 3 items. We agree when she wants to achieve these by(we set a date), I check in with her at that point and then we decide on the next 3 items for her to action. Keeping it simple really helps.
If you’re feeling overwhelmed, my top tips are:
- Keep it simple – don’t try to tackle everything at once.
- Write a list of everything – a brain dump
- Prioritise the tasks on the list
- Decide whether you need to do it yourself or whether you could delegate it to someone else
- Start with the easiest and quickest thing to action – this will give you a “quick win” of success and help with motivation to carry on with your list.
- Only pick 2-3 actions at any one time.
- Tick things off as you action them, to help you see what progress you’re making.
If you’re struggling with this or any other issue in your divorce or separation, please get in touch. I’m here to help.
If you have found the tips in this blog useful then you’ll find lots more in my eBooks, which you can purchase and download today.