Hello friends! Welcome to another episode of Brain Food. I’m going to talk about the problem many of us face, and that is busyness.
This week’s story was inspired by a good friend of mine, Shawn Kincaid, who is a business coach and blogger here in Kansas City. His blog is called You can beat the Tyranny of Urgent. And there were a couple of key things in his story that really resonated with me.
When asked how things are going, I would always reply with, “I’m running all over the city!” Mic Johnson did a really good impression of me saying that where he threw his hands in the air and his voice went up an octave.
I’ve fixed that problem to some degree. And I thought it would probably be a good story share. As we head into the new year of 2021, it might be a good reminder to think about how you are using your schedule. Are you focusing on the things that you need to be doing and are you keeping the balance?
The first thing that I wanted to talk about as part of this busyness idea is recognizing when you have a problem. For me, what that problem looked like was I felt exhausted all the time, emotionally and mentally. A lot of that had to do with looking at the calendar for the week ahead. My calendar was full of a lot of great stuff. Good for revenue, spending time with friends, helping them get things done. But knowing that I could not be sick because there were scheduled trainings and scheduled blog meetings and all these things that I do for a living stressed me out quite a bit.
When a need came in, I would schedule it for the very next open slot that I had on my calendar. And that was a doing myself a disservice. The problem for me was I didn’t have any wiggle room, so I found myself catching up in the evenings. Unfortunately, some of the most important stuff that I needed to be working on was being done in the evenings. And I was giving myself, and those important things, the last energy that I had from the day instead of the first energy that I had in the day. That’s not a good equation for success.
I had to hear this a few times. Mic made the suggestion to put a half day on my calendar every single week. You can move it as long as you keep it blocked at some point during the week. You need that half day to do whatever you want; go for a bike ride, watch a TV show or whatever. If you need to use that time to catch up, fine. But try to do something that you really want to work on.
If you’re looking at the calendar and you see that the next seven days business days are completely packed with client work, peer group meetings, sales calls and evening plans, it can be overwhelming. For me, it got to a point where it all felt like work because I could never let down. I could never take my foot off the accelerator. And that was a bad mental place for me to be.
My encouragement for you with this whole concept of busyness is to try and regain the balance that you have in your life (if you need to) and really take a hard look at your calendar. Are those the things that you really want to be doing? If not, figure out a way to get to a point where they are the things you want to be doing. You should enjoy the process when you’re doing those things.
Even when I have “busy” weeks now, I look at things and realize that they are going to be fun projects or that it’s going to be great to see and work with my friends and clients.
If you have had similar feelings about your schedule, it’s time for a change. I was so locked into that day to day of busy, busy that I didn’t even understand I had a problem. It was habit. And breaking that habit by blocking a half day on the calendar was life changing. Thanks again to Mic for his excellent advice.
And that’s it for this week’s Brain Food. I hope that you got some value from this story as we kick off 2021. I hope that you can keep your balance. There’s going to be a lot of things that were stacked and racked up waiting for you to come back to work. You might have to put in some extra time this first week or two to get caught up, but really focus on keeping that balance and not getting caught in the trap of busyness.
I’ll talk to you soon!