By Carrie-ann | Feb 10, 2017 | Lifestyle balance, Running a business

Are You A Busy Fool?

“I’m so busy!”

“Me too!”

Productivity means we are going places – right? Wrong. Busy is not the path to success. Busy is a degenerative disease and we have the frayed nerves, tattered business plans and encyclopaedic to-do lists to prove it; however, we can change this diagnosis with a few simple steps.

Are you your own worst enemy?
We put so much pressure on ourselves. Busy is the overwhelmed look in our eyes. We cannot multi-task ourselves to success; in our rush to be productive, we forget to be efficient.

How to avoid the activity trap
Stephen R Covey, author of the classic bestseller The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, has an excellent analogy regarding our obsession with activity; he calls it the ‘activity trap’.

“It’s incredibly easy to get caught up in an activity trap, in the business of life, to work harder and harder at climbing the ladder of success only to discover it’s leaning against the wrong wall.” – Stephen R Covey

When we take the time to look at the outcomes to our actions, we work smarter – and we are more successful.
What impact does busy have on your business?
Many of us consider rushing to be normal. In our haste to deliver, we deny ourselves our best work. What are we delivering? We are focussed on being faster, not better.
When you focus on speed rather than efficiency, you fail to see the big picture. Your focus rests on short-term goals. For your business to succeed, you need to see the horizon in addition to what is immediately in front of you. Create this important balance and watch your business thrive.

“Quality is the best business plan.” – John Lasseter, Pixar

10 steps to success
1. Where do you see yourself in two to three years’ time? You are accountable for everything that happens to you and your business.
2. A critical part of success is planning how you will execute what you do. Make time every week to plan.
3. Do one thing at a time, and do it well. Become an expert at what you do.
4. Embrace creative thinking. When do you have your best ideas? It is probably not at your desk! Take note, and watch your ideas fly.
5. Question tight deadlines. Help your client to determine what the turnaround time actually needs to be.
6. Discuss problems with a friend to clarify your direction. Acknowledge you are overwhelmed. Talk about it and move on.
7. Keep a time diary for one week and observe your time leakages; for example, how long do you spend surfing the net every day?
8. Streamline your work. Observe people you admire. Look at their daily routine for ideas to simplify repeated tasks.
9. Throw away your to-do list! Prioritise. Start a to-think list – make time to think about options and responses and you will always be prepared.
10. Success is not about feeling comfortable. Prioritise what you want to do and do it now. Do not wait; success happens when we go for it – one step at a time!
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates