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7 Tips To Banish ‘Busy-Ness’ And Supercharge Your Productivity

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Does this dialogue sound familiar?

‘Hey! How are you?’

‘Busy, as usual. Yourself?’

‘Yeah – really busy. Life’s just crazy, you know?’

‘Yep, crazy-busy.’

We live in a world where it’s not only cool to be busy, it’s glorified. It’s the first thing we say when we greet each other. You’re given a pat on the back when you pull a hefty 13-hour day, or if you’ve done an all-nighter, or if you’ve rushed around like a mad thing to meet a deadline.

We wear our ‘busy-ness’ like a badge of honour and will proudly tell everyone in our lives how crazy and hectic things are.

For me, there’s nothing glamorous or sexy about ‘being busy’. In fact, it’s something I want to steer away from. I don’t want to be run off my feet, stressed out, and overwhelmed. Instead, I choose to move through my day with a sense of ease and grace. How much nicer does that sound?

While we’re busting through myths and misconceptions, let’s debunk another one: life isn’t about trying to find ‘balance’ either.

I think the idea of striving for balance is unrealistic… and kind of destructive. Besides, it doesn’t even exist — it’s just another thing us ladies use to compare and measure ourselves against each other. We even use it as a self-inflicted weapon to make ourselves feel guilty and unworthy. I spent way too much time at work this week, I’m such a bad mamma. I didn’t fit everything in today, I’m such a failure. (Can you believe the awful things our Mean Girl says to us sometimes?!)

The fact is there are times when my work requires more of me. Like when I’m bunkering down to write a book, or knee-deep in a speaking tour, or launching a new product like Get Your Glow On.

There are also times when my family or friends need me more, and everything else gets put on the back burner so I can show up fully for them. I believe it’s all about being present and riding the waves of life. Sometimes one particular area will call for more energy or more love and it’s our job to be so aware and tuned in that we can recognise it and act accordingly.

INSTEAD OF RIGIDLY STRIVING FOR ‘BALANCE’, TUNE INTO THE NATURAL EBBS AND FLOWS OF LIFE – THAT’S WHERE THE MAGIC IS.

{Click to tweet the above quote}

Ready to take action?

If you want to ditch the overwhelm and avoid the busy-ness trap once and for all (and supercharge your productivity while you’re at it), try these 7 hot tips:

 

1. Start using your digital calendar

I used to love using a pretty hand-held calendar that I would carry around in my handbag everywhere I went. But not only was it chunky and extremely heavy, I found myself missing appointments and stuffing up times because the inside of my planner looked like my 2-year-old nephew had taken to the pages with a bunch of pens!

We live in a world where things move and change all the time, and constantly crossing out and writing over things takes time and can look overwhelming (especially if you have writing like mine!).

It’s so easy to move things around on your digital calendar. Plus you can sync it to your smartphone and computer, which makes booking things in super easy. You can also send calendar invites to other people so they don’t miss your meeting or catch up.

 

2. Delegate

For many years, I really struggled with this. My business is my baby, so handing anything over to someone else scared the bejeebers out of me. But since I have learnt to delegate, I have really been able to focus my attention on what I love most, which is writing, speaking, teaching, sharing and creating. As a result, my business has grown exponentially.

To make this shift for yourself, work out what you love doing in your business. If you love writing and creating content, and don’t necessarily love sending invoices, bookkeeping and assigning tags in Infusionsoft (also lovingly known at MA HQ as Confusionsoft), then hire someone else to do it. You need to stay in your zone of genius and stop wasting your precious time doing things you don’t enjoy. Life’s too short to do anything that doesn’t light you up.

 

3. Make sure you schedule in time for you

I know it sounds ridiculous that we have to actually schedule in downtime, but we do: if we don’t, it doesn’t happen! I personally make sure my yoga, meditation and afternoon self-love time are all added to my digital calendar, otherwise I know they’ll just fall by the wayside.

Set yourself up for success by scheduling in your self-love time today. You can also make it a recurring task, which saves you time and makes sure these essential activities are always front-and-centre in your day. Need ideas for your self love time?

Check out my FREE self love menu today.

 

Melissa Ambrosini
 

4. Ask for help

There’s a common misconception that we have to do it all alone and that if we don’t, we’re a failure. This is BS. When you really let go of that belief — and simply ask for help when you need it — you can avoid burn-out and stop overwhelm in its tracks.

Give it a go.

ASKING FOR HELP ISN’T AN ACT OF WEAKNESS; IT’S AN ACT OF SELF-LOVE.

{Click to tweet the above quote}

5. Brain dump

In this post I talk about “Things“, which is one of my favourite productivity tools.

Every morning I do a brain dump into the app, which helps stop my brain swirling into overwhelm and falling into that unproductive busy-ness trap.

 

6. Meditation

Want to supercharge your productivity? Meditate! But let me guess: you’re too busy and don’t have time, right? Wrong. We all have the same amount of hours in the day — it’s about prioritising yourself, scheduling it in your digital calendar, then showing up every single day.

As Tom Cronin says, we have 72 units of 20 minutes per day. All you need to do is allocate two of those and you still have 70 units left!

 

7. Eat your frog first

Once you get all of your tasks out of your head and into your app (or onto paper), you need to start organising them. Divide your brain dump into four categories:

  1. Things you don’t want to do, and actually don’t need to do.
  2. Things you don’t want to do, but actually do need to do (the frogs).
  3. Things you want to do and actually do need to do.
  4. Things you want to do, but actually don’t need to do.

Once you’ve got your list organised, it’s time to prioritise the sections. The most important place to start? The ‘frogs’. These are the things you don’t like doing, but that actually really need to be done. They’re the ones you aren’t motivated to do, and that send you spiralling into procrastination. In fact, they can hang over your head all day and fill you with guilt… yet you still can’t bring yourself to actually get ‘em done.

So how can we finish our frogs?

Frogs need structure around them to ensure that they actually get finished. You can create the motivation you need to make them happen by either transforming them into something desirable (say, turning your weekly vacuuming session into a lounge room dance-jam) or by linking the act of frog-finishing to another, stronger habit.

In his famous book Eat That Frog, Brian Tracy suggests that the best habit to get into is eating your frogs first thing in the morning, which is exactly how I like to structure my to-do list. Not only does it mean you get the icky stuff over with first (leaving you free to do the things you enjoy without a cloud of guilt hanging over your head) but it’s also incredibly rewarding. Within the first hour or so of my work day, I already feel like I’ve made great headway, and that surge of momentum helps me glide through the rest of my day with ease. (Like Mark Twain once said, “If you have to eat a live frog, it does not pay to sit and look at it for a very long time!”)

Bonus Tip: Ban the ‘B’ word

My team and I have eliminated the word ‘busy’ from our vocabulary. It helps, a lot! Try it if you like. And next time someone asks you how you are, try not responding with, ‘Oh, I am so busy’. Instead, connect with how you’re feeling and go from there.

Now I’d love to hear from you, beautiful. Tell me, are you ready to ditch the busy-ness badge of honour? And do you have a favourite tip for supercharging your productivity and sailing through your to-do list with ease and grace? I’d love to hear your insights.

Thanks so much for being here, and for sharing from your heart. I love the bejeebers out of you!

Love Melissa

P.S. Do you know someone who could really benefit from this post? I’d love you to share it with all of your friends, family and tribe so we can all get un-busy together!

I'm an author, entrepreneur, motivational speaker, and self-love teacher. I love teaching women how to master their inner Mean Girl, to smash through limiting beliefs, and ditch the self-doubt so that they can start truly living the life of their dreams. Click HERE to grab my new book "Mastering Your Mean Girl" + my bonus meditations.

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3 Comments

3 Comments

  1. Brandon Villano

    Oct 9, 2015 at 12:07 am

    Your intro is so on point. Definitely nothing glamorous about being busy! There is such a stigma around making some time for yourself. I don’t get it. Reminds me of when I was in college, pulling all-nighters was the cool thing to do. And if you actually slept, then you must be lazy…

    Also, I like your take on striving for balance. If you have your values down pat, then there is nothing wrong with switching your schedule around when your integral priorities need more attention.

    -Brandon

  2. Dotchamou Zakari

    Oct 6, 2015 at 9:13 pm

    Thank you for this post ful helpful informations. Now why are so busy ? The answer is to do like everybody does. How to stop being busy ? Refuse to follow the crowd, just focus on things that really matter in life.

  3. Rose Costas

    Oct 6, 2015 at 5:08 pm

    Thanks Melissa We all have gone through it and others will if they haven’t. You have to get to a place where you choose not to allow the job to wear you down. You have to plan, prioritize and the things that cannot be done you delegate.
    There is no use trying to be super woman to prove to others how great you are or feel guilty becasue you aren’t. I wish every woman would read this.

    Thanks

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Motivation

3 Ways to Rethink Motivation in a Busy World

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motivation
Image Credit: Unsplash

I’ve been thinking a lot about the nature of motivation recently. For me, motivation comes at different points during the day. I tend to be most motivated first thing in the morning. I’m not a night owl by any means, but sometimes I wish I could be. Other people are hopeless in the mornings, but they can stay up until the wee hours working on a project that inspires them.

Unfortunately, sometimes motivation doesn’t strike when you need it to. Sometimes you’re not able to arrange your day to align with specific spikes in motivation, and you’re forced to find opportunities to be productive at the corners of the day.

Below, are several ways you can set yourself up for victory, despite a busy schedule or an inability to find the right time to feel motivated:

1. Tee yourself up for a motivation session

I’m not much of a golfer, so the fact that I’m using a golf phrase to preface this tip probably doesn’t make sense. But the point is that sometimes you have to make it easy for yourself to succeed when it’s time to make a leap. You can break a task down into its component parts, and pretty soon it doesn’t seem so difficult.

That’s what motivation is about sometimes. You can take that first step towards getting things progressed. You can set up everything so you just have to jump in with both feet first thing when you have the energy. Sometimes this means creating a to do list for yourself the night before to start tackling first thing in the morning.

Sometimes it can mean drafting an email or creating a template for a phone conversation that you’re planning to have first thing the next day. Whatever you can do to get your head right and set up the right incentives for you to take that swing the very next day when you’re feeling prepared, the better off you will be. Try it next time you’re feeling tired. Take 10 minutes to tee up your next move.

“Wanting something is not enough. You must hunger for it. Your motivation must be absolutely compelling in order to overcome the obstacles that will invariably come your way.” – Les Brown

2. Fire, then aim

Unfortunately, sometimes teeing up a solution isn’t going far enough. What really works best is to put your head down and try to at least make a start at that “thing” you want to accomplish, that product you want to create, or that goal you want to reach. This can mean putting pen to paper, picking up the phone, typing out that email, or asking for that advice.

Do something, do anything. Whatever it takes, force yourself to make a minuscule action to move the ball forward. If you had a gun to your head or you were forced to do something to avoid losing everything in one moment, what would you do?

Perhaps this is a bit drastic, but by building a sense of urgency in the moment, even when it’s the last thing you want to do, you can find a deep source of motivation within you and set yourself up to tweak your efforts the next day.

Too often you’re overwhelmed and frozen into inaction when you reach for a large goal. This is the point of the “fire, then aim” approach.

3. Rid yourself of self doubt

One of the best ways to set yourself up for victory in the long run is to build your self confidence. If you truly believe in yourself, you will find the motivation to persist and persevere.

If you truly have faith in yourself and your ability to deliver what you set out to deliver, you can do it. The world will align to your dreams. But this won’t happen if you let yourself be talked down by self-doubt and worry about what others will think.

“The moment you feel yourself hesitate on something you know you should do, count 5-4-3-2-1 to activate your prefrontal cortex and interrupt the habit of overthinking, self-doubt, and fear.” – Mel Robbins

Some worry and concern is rational and even important, but for the most part, fear will only hinder your progress. Get the negative voices out of your head by tapping into the inner ego and reminding yourself that you can accomplish what you set out to accomplish.

If you put your mind to something, and you are stubborn in your resistance to listening to other people’s’ opinions of what you do, then you will be hard pressed to not succeed.

The hardest part is the start. Finding ways to make that start even a little bit less painful can make the time that it takes to create something amazing all that much easier.

How do you motivate yourself? Share your ideas below!

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Motivation

A Step by Step Process That Will Help You Make the Impossible, Possible

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make it happen

We have all been there, looking at something and wishing we had it. The girl, the car, the money, the family, the lifestyle…but then we tell ourselves “Yeah, but that’s not me”. The people who get that are cut from a different cloth and we keep telling ourselves that until it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. We waste the wings we got believing the entire time that we can’t fly and that it’s impossible for us. We don’t even see our wings most of the time. (more…)

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Motivation

(Part 2) Conquering the Impossible Space Between Where You Are Now and Where You Want to Be

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risk taking
Image Credit: Unsplash

I wrote a blog post based on a mini-series I did for my Subscribers on the Achieve the Impossible App and have packaged it up in two parts to share here. If you missed Part One, quick click here and have a read over that first before reading any further!

One of the first obstacles we’re going to face on this journey towards risk is one that often strikes a damaging blow to our pride and can sometimes take us to our knees. As you embark on this journey, I can almost guarantee that we will take a wrong turn from time to time, we will read the map wrong (I’ll take the hit, I’m the navigator – sorry!) which will send us off course.

When you’ve taken a wrong turn driving, what is your first thought? DAMN IT. (Yep, me too!) What’s your second thought? Is it ‘ahh, I’ve stuffed up. I’m gonna just pull over and sit here until either the roads and maps magically change in my favor or someone comes to rescue me?’ Or do we think ‘Ok, what’s the quickest way to get back on my path?’

Mistakes Will Happen

When we stuff up, make a mistake, choose the wrong software, tell the wrong people or say the wrong thing, we don’t just pack up our dreams and hide. NO. We pick ourselves back up. We face the right direction (or what we believe is the right direction) and we MOVE FORWARD.

I don’t care if you start by walking one ginger step at a time, just start! Those small steps gain momentum and eventually lead to a jog, then before you know it, you’re back running!

Mistakes aren’t meant to end us, they are there to redirect us. Anytime you embark on an unknown journey you’re going to make mistakes.How you respond is the only thing I want you to focus on. Respond with reflection, movement and momentum in the direction of your dreams.

On our journey, we’re going to make mistakes and take wrong turns from time to time, but we choose to pick ourselves back up, and get back on that journey! We’re not staying stuck, we’re ‘running to risk’! As we get back on this journey, we’re going to need to make a decision to take action and invest in risk.

“Inaction breeds doubt and fear. Action breeds confidence and courage. If you want to conquer fear, do not sit at home and think about it. Go out and get busy.” – Dale Carnegie

Sounds like I’m about to write a message on Warren Buffett’s worst nightmare. But that’s not the risk I’m talking about and it’s not the investing I’m talking about. Sleep tight, Warren. This risk I’m talking about is the thing that stands between you and your dream. The thing that you’ve told yourself is too strong, too powerful and too insurmountable to climb.

It’s often the case that the risk we perceive in our own minds is actually far greater than it truly is in reality. I remember as a child, visiting a museum and being fascinated by a scary looking dinosaur down the other side of the room. It looked ferocious and intimidating from across the room, and as I walked closer and closer, the dinosaur, through the magic of perspective, got bigger and bigger.

That’s where I feel we are at right now on our journey towards risk. We’ve identified the risk standing between us and our dreams, and we’re taking the tentative first steps towards it. As we step closer and closer to risk, it will look bigger. You’ll start to compare the size of it to you, and don’t be surprised if it grows each step you take. But, have faith.

The closer I got to the dinosaur, the bigger it became. I had a choice to let fear or faith determine my next steps. I continued walking step by step towards the prehistoric creature. Then something strange happened.

Yes, the closer I got to the creature, the bigger it became. But then something else came into the picture. The closer I got, the more detail I was noticing. What I thought were bone-crunching teeth were actually a matte white plastic, what I thought was impenetrable skin was old flaking greeny-brown paint. Those eyes that glared at you from across the room, were now nothing but big marble sized spheres of glass.

When we step towards fear, yes it gets bigger – but as we invest in faith and continue to live our lives in the direction of our dreams, we expose the master of risk…FEAR.

False

Evidence

Appearing

Real

Invest in those extra steps this week as you get closer to risk to point out the finer details, you’re going to realise it’s not as scary as it once seemed. Those steps aren’t always going to come easy though, because the journey towards risk is an interesting one.

There’ll be times when you’re pumped full of Adrenalin, bashing down every obstacle that comes your way. There will be times where you’re cruising on a nice downhill slope, enjoying the scenery and wondering why it took you this long to convince yourself to get here!

Then there’ll be times when things aren’t easy. Just like my climb this evening up a little mountain by my home on the Sunshine Coast of Australia. I started out full of energy, pumped for the adventure ahead, then five minutes into the usually very achievable rocky steps, my legs started really feeling it.

“You’ll never know your strength until you’ve faced your struggles.”

The Adrenalin gave way to frustration, to fear and to my quickly draining self-belief in my fitness. I continued one painful step at a time. I wasn’t going the pace I normally would, but knew this mountain could be conquered one slow step at a time.

As I slowly neared the end of the steps, my legs were burning, my heart pounding and my mindset weakening. Two quiet words burst through my pain…

Stay strong

I’m pretty sure I’ve never said this going up the mountain before, but it seemed fitting. As I climbed one step at a time, ‘stay strong’ became my repeated mantra. After the season of pain and intentional mindset building, I reached the summit of the mountain and cruised my way back down.

There is such an incredibly untapped power within our self-belief and mindset, which shapes our self-talk. On your journey towards your risk, I can almost guarantee you’ll be faced with steps that seem too difficult, too challenging, too much to conquer.

Remember…’stay strong’. You’re on this path for a reason – you’re capable of completing it. You’ve come this far, see it through. Your ‘impossible’ dream is counting on you to conquer fear and run to risk!

This blog is based off the mini-series ‘Run to Risk’ first featured on the Achieve the Impossible App, accompanied by downloadable wallpapers and daily inspiring messages to inspire, challenge and equip you to achieve your impossible dream. Download the Achieve the Impossible App and start your free trial today!

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Motivation

(Part 1) Conquering the Impossible Space Between Where You Are Now and Where You Want to Be

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Deep down, you know exactly what you are capable of. There’s even moments where you get a glimpse of all the potential you have. You can get there. You just have to be willing to sacrifice the habits, things and situations that are standing in the way of your success. I honestly believe “Running to Risk” has the power to unlock mindsets and belief systems that have been holding you back from your true potential (I’m naturally conservative so it’s big coming from me!)

Before we do something crazy and ‘run to risk’, let’s take stock of where we are today and our foundational beliefs in our potential and true capacity. In the day-to-day act of living, waking up, coffee, breakfast, school drop-offs, work, more coffee, home, homework, dinner, finish off emails, glass or two of (insert drink here), collapse on couch, Netflix etc. We can become disconnected with our true potential and capacity.

You are being pulled from all sides – your family, your boss, your colleagues, your partner, your friends, even your dog. You can be forgiven for prioritising the present over the future.

To set up this series on healthy and personal-capacity fuelled risk, I want you to invest a moment or two searching deep within yourself.

  • What’s in your heart for 2019?
  • What is one thing you would look back on come 31st Dec 2019 and be proud of your personal accomplishment?
  • What’s something that scares you?
  • What’s that one thing that has been on the back of your mind that you’d love to put your name to in your lifetime?

The answer to the above is the thing we’re going to focus on in part one of this post. We’re focusing on it because with every achievement that challenges our personal capacity and unlocks our potential, there will be an element of risk.

Risk Is Scary!

Risk stares you in the face from afar and says ‘don’t you dare approach. Don’t even try’. This is when you’re faced with a decision to make, and the best (and also worst!) thing about it is you’re the only one who can make it!

As you make this decision to ‘run to risk’, the regret of not running has to be stronger than your personal comfort. Your comfort must give way to your calling. Your present must give way to your potential.

Think about the one thing on your heart – the thing that helps you step into your calling and potential. The thing with risk looming all over it. Let’s build the strength, self-belief, courage, boldness and tenacity to ‘Run to Risk.’ But what about timing? I’m not sure if I should be pursuing my dream now.

“You can’t always wait for the perfect time. Sometimes, you have to dare to do it because life is too short to wonder what might have been.”

We’re not running to risk for a laugh and a good time, we’re running to risk because that dream in our hearts for 2019 is worth pursuing. When faced with the potential of risk, we often come up with thoughts and reasons to justify our lack of momentum or progress.

I don’t know how!

I don’t have the money!

I don’t have the connections!

But one of the most common excuses I hear (I know, because I hear it from myself) is a little sentence that has killed more dreams and crushed more souls than most. ’It’s not the right time’.

It’s one of the most powerful excuses because it bulldozes every other excuse by default. You’ll always meet more people, money comes and goes, but once time is gone, it’s gone forever. This excuse becomes our default without us even realising it.

I remember when I was wanting to launch a few online courses, a podcast and a book. (These are all my risks for 2019). But they were also my goals for 2017 and 2018. Sadly, I put my insecurities ahead of my identity and my convenience over my calling. Looking back now, each excuse I held to for not launching these projects was based on timing.

First, the IG algorithms were affecting posts, then someone else launched a podcast in my niche and gosh, I couldn’t do that! Next, as I was writing my IG Online Course, another one came on the market. Nope, can’t do that now. I’ll wait until the marketing heat dies down on that one. The exact same situation with my book launch…it just wasn’t quite the right time.

Here’s what I learnt and something I want to share with you, there’s never a right time to do the thing that’s on your heart. The right time will never simply show up, you’ve got the time, now it’s up to you to make it right!

Looking back, I’ve felt the pain of regret and don’t want to let the fear of risk lead to regret again. Now is the time to look risk dead square in the eyes and say ‘ready or not, here I come’. Yeah, the I could start now I guess…I know what I want to do and I kinda believe now is as good of time as any…I’m honestly not sure where to start.

“Never be afraid to try something new, because life gets boring when you stay within the limits of what you already know.”

Now It’s Time!

We’ve just told risk we’re coming for it. We’ve made the decision to put our calling over our comfort and choose to be lead by faith not fear. Now it’s the time to start. We’re starting right now because we have been given the time, and we’ve got complete power and control to make it the ‘right time’. We’ve made the decision to go after that thing that’s on our heart, the thing we’ve always wanted to do, the thing that has been too risky.

Not anymore. Today, we start.

There is huge power in the start. When we start, we have the luxury of being on home ground. We are making more decisions for ourselves, rather than having to make decisions based on responses which we will have to inevitably do down the road.

Today, we start.

We’re filled fresh with enthusiasm, passion and driven by our desire to accomplish something meaningful this year. Yesterday, we may have had a loss to our name, we may have stumbled and fallen…but you’ve picked yourself up.

Today, we start.

We look to the future with our heads held high, the hopes of a brighter future with that dream in our heart knowing that we are valiantly pursuing it despite the risk. We know our dream, we know we are capable of achieving it, we know we’ve got the time and today, we start.

We start the journey as we ‘Run to Risk’.This blog is based off the mini-series ‘Run to Risk’ first featured on the Achieve the Impossible App, accompanied by downloadable wallpapers and daily inspiring messages to inspire, challenge and equip you to achieve your impossible dream. Download the Achieve the Impossible App and start your free trial today!

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