For many people being busy is a way of life, and a badge of honour.
‘If you want something doing ask a busy person.’
We tell ourselves, and other people, that we thrive on being busy, and are even addicted to the buzz of it.
We all know that this may actually not be very good for us, but we still feel secretly proud of how much we can get done. Believe me, I know all about this.
Is being busy really always a good sign?
However, as well as the physical impact of being busy all the time, have you considered that it may actually be an indicator that things actually AREN’T going that well for you?
Just stop and think about that for a moment.
We all have busy periods, but if it’s a constant, it may well be that you are using busyness as a way of ‘numbing out’. If you find that you feel anxious or depressed when you stop being busy, or take a break, it’s worth asking yourself if this is just withdrawal from all the cortisol and dopamine, or if the space is actually allowing stuff to come to the surface that you usually avoid thinking about or feeling by keeping busy?
Secondly, while it’s always nice to be in demand, it’s so important that we don’t base our self-worth on this. Make a list of all the things you like about yourself, and make sure they aren’t all about how useful you are to other people.
Being busy is not the same thing as being productive.
Remember that being busy is actually not the same thing as being productive. You might be doing loads of things, but are they the right things, which will actually take your business forward? Are you allowing yourself time to step back and see the bigger picture, and prioritising your time appropriately?
Often when we’re really busy and overloaded, we just have our head down, and lots of the decisions we make actually make things worse rather than better.
We need to allow time for big picture planning, and prioritising.
The importance of rest
Finally, there is more and more evidence that our brains actually work better, especially in terms of creativity, when we give them opportunities to not be focused.
Going for a walk, having a bath, even just sitting, can allow our brains to relax. Watching TV can be fun, but it’s not as good for our brains as just letting them wander. When you do things like go for a long walk, your subconscious mind will gently play around with options and solutions, and before you know it, the best idea just pops into your head.
So, could it be time to re-set your approach to busyness, start prioritising, and rest more?
If you’re an ELT freelancer/business owner you may feel a bit overwhelmed by all the business advice out there…
Should you start a podcast or a YouTube channel, a mailing list, a membership? Is it a good idea to keep things as simple as possible, or should you be looking to diversify? What does scaling even mean, anyway?!
Would you like some clear step by step advice tailored to your stage of business?
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