Why You’re Too Busy & How To Course Correct (Without Doing More)

Mindset Mojo

Why You’re Too Busy & How To Course Correct (Without Doing More)

Why You’re Too Busy & How To Course Correct (Without Doing More)

Why You’re Too Busy & How To Course Correct (Without Doing More)


How many times have you answered a question with, “I’m busy.” It’s the mantra of our #hustleharder, 30 Under 30, success at all costs culture.We love to celebrate overnight success and never-ending youth over boring old slow, steady, and sustainable growth.

The challenge is, the faster harder more now again ascension is the fast-track to burnout. What we don’t talk about is the addiction, divorce, foreclosures, therapy, and trauma that happens with a success-at-all-costs mindset. We emulate the successful, but we don’t see behind their veil.

Instead we fill our days with priorities. All day long, no activity feels like it can be shuffled around, cancelled, or negotiated. Whether it be exercise and eating healthy, to meetings and emails, or family and community. It. All. Demands. Our. Attention. Now.

Priority is defined as one thing taking importance over another. It can’t all be a priority. Read that again.

But how do I say no to my kids PTA event, or the panel I’ve been asked to speak on, or the Q1 planning meeting? I get it, this is why using your values is crucial. Values are another discussion, so for our purposes today, lets explore The Busy, how to release it’s stranglehold, and a few tactical applications that might just uncover some free time * gasp.*


Busy Is Performative

What are we really doing when we’re “too busy?” We’re distracting ourselves. We’re avoiding the problem. We’re proving something, to someone (maybe even ourselves). And that’s OK! This is not a harsh judgement, only a curious exploration.

When we have a glaring issue, it’s easy to distract ourselves with too much to do. We muscle through our day(s), telling ourselves once we’re on the other side of this project, event, holiday or busy season, we’ll slow down. But we don’t.

When you find yourself scattered, run off your feet, but with nothing to show, it’s time to get back to basics. Grab an old fashioned analog piece of paper and get it all out (this may even take a few days). Jot down a + or – next to each activity, denoting if it energizes you or exhausts you. Notice where you rationalize what “must get done,” and by only you.

The next step is to ruthlessly remove any to-do that rates less than a +++. Just for this exercise. What are all the things you’re doing that aren’t a priority and don’t feel good? Is there anyway to delegate, batch process (take 1/2 a day too knock these — activities out), or simply delete them (you’re never going to reorganize the storage closet, it’s fine).

When we admit we’re being busy for the street cred; for our outdated expectations; because we’re afraid of disappointing someone (or ourselves); or we just kept trying to get more done until we exploded (or collapsed) – we stop the madness.  The first step is admitting there’s a problem.



Boundaries, Practice & Sustainable Growth, oh my!

Time is a non-renewable resource. But it is only a container. A coordinate to suggest a start and end, perhaps in a particular location. You can easily adjust all those data points to support you. We use our values to filter our decision making process, and we use a schedule to give our ego the reassurance that are values are prioritized through actionable tasks.

Start with what is actually most important (this will be 3-4 things a week). To begin this practice, schedule that time. Does this feel like a relief? Do you doubt you will stick to this commitment? Perfect, start there. This is how we begin to practice boundaries.

Do me a favor, and take it one step further. Imagine the conversation where you say “no, I am sleeping during that time and can’t make cross-fit” or, “I don’t do meetings on Mondays anymore.” Who are you going to piss off? Who will judge you? What words of encouragement will you offer yourself? Play it through. Imagine, by taking the scrimmage to game time, this is the real world baby. Practice holding your boundaries.

Once you practice un-busying, you will start to see how everything gets done. You will learn to trust your timing. You will zero out your inbox at exactly the right time (but it may not be every day at 4:15pm). The planning & review always gets done. That phone call happens when you’re ready, not just when the phone rings. When you prioritize, practice boundaries, and find flow, trust creeps in to prove you’re on the right track.

Free time is the reward for turning your busy into priorities. Take your schedule back by having boundaries. You deserve to invest in what energizes you. Be creative about how you can reduce the impact of the busy work. Stop showing off, no one cares how exhausted you are when you collapse into bed at night. This is your show, produce, direct, write and star in the show you’d want to watch (and don’t be afraid to edit or go back to the drawing board if a scene sucks). You are in control of your schedule. Take back your free time! 



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