Connect with us

Motivation

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

Published

on

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.

Advertisement
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

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Motivation

How Positive Self-Talk Boosts Motivation and Productivity

Published

on

positive self talk
Image Credit: Unsplash

“I’m a born failure. There is no way I can get that job. I can’t carry that dress off – I’m too fat. Why do these things happen to me? Why am I so unlucky?” Are your conversations with yourself along these lines? Do you find yourself reprimanding yourself every time you make a mistake or wallowing in self-pity? (more…)

Continue Reading

Motivation

Money Making a Difference – Examples of Billionaires Using Their Money for Good

Published

on

How billionaires use their money
Image Credit: Tony Hsieh

How many times have we wished to be in the shoes of a billionaire? People often daydream of having a ten digit bank account, and what they’d be doing with it. In an instant, we’d picture luxury yachts, extravagant sports cars, the finest wine and jewellery, and a whole lot of things which are difficult to pronounce. It is truly difficult to separate wealth and luxury. (more…)

Continue Reading

Motivation

6 Lessons You Can Learn from The King of the Jungle

Published

on

lessons you can learn from a lion
Image Credit: Unsplash

Do you watch documentaries on lions? If yes, then you must have seen that they dominate their territory and are apex predators. Lions are among the strongest animals in the world, and no one dares to confront or challenge them. They are called ‘kings’ because they have a touch of royalty in everything they do. From eating habits where 20-25 royal members dine at the same to conquering huge lands. A lion always has a bold attitude and lives like a true ruler. (more…)

Continue Reading

Motivation

The Guide to Staying Motivated While Working Alone

Published

on

how to stay motivated when working alone
Image Credit: Unsplash

Working alone at home might sound like a nightmare to some, but as a fully signed up introvert, working alone at home is an absolute dream. No energy-draining small talk, no noisy distractions, just peace and quiet to complete deep and focused work. Well not quite. Working alone at home has more challenges than you might expect. Boredom, lack of focus and lack of motivation to name a few.

When you start working for yourself, you quickly realise that one of the biggest problems you face isn’t the job itself. Maintaining your motivation poses a potentially huge difficulty. Much of that difficulty stems from working alone, rather than in a traditional office setting. There is also the challenge of staying focused on the task at hand. With no boss or supervisor looking over your shoulder, social media can distract or cat videos interrupt you.

But the greatest problem by far is a simple lack of motivation. There doesn’t seem to be a pressing need to finish this project right now, making it far too easy to put it off until later. Left unchecked, a lack of motivation can cripple the work you are trying to accomplish. Over the past few years I’ve developed a few go-to tactics to improve my lone working motivation.

Here are some of the tools I’ve used to stay motivated and on-task.

These first few tips focus on using different tweaks in your personal work schedule to provide some variety and maintain your focus.

1. Include short breaks

My eye doctor once told me that for every 20 minutes of staring at a computer screen, you should look away and focus on something across the room for 20 seconds. This gives your eyes a chance to reset. Do something similar with the rest of your body; don’t just look across the room, walk, jog, or run across the room. Give your body a break, and try to reset your thoughts. If you don’t have the discipline to take regular breaks, use an app to remind you.

2. Block out an afternoon for social activities and networking

Set aside one afternoon a week for your social life. Friday afternoon works best for me. If you feel guilty about not working, think of it as a chance to network. Either way, be sure to spend this section of time with other people. Socialise and network.

3. View your personal schedule as your work schedule

A 9-to-5 job requires getting up every morning, preparing for the day, leaving the house, and commuting to your workplace. In other words, it requires going to work. You want to recreate the same rhythm at home. You may not actually need to leave your house in order to work, but try to stick with the schedule. Filling the old job timeslot with your new work helps to keep you motivated – you can’t clock out early!

These next few tips are little things you can do to trick yourself into staying focused!

1. Music

This tip may sound cliché, but try listening to an upbeat song loudly whenever you feel unmotivated. It’s a simple trick, but a surprisingly effective one!

2. Have somewhere else to work for a change of scenery

When procrastination sets in, sometimes a quick change of scenery is all you need. If you work at home, going to your favourite café can be a huge help. Other freelancers I know have even gone so far as to hire office space outside the home, and rotate between the two to help stay on-task.

3. Love what you do

This is arguably the most critical point on the whole list. If you don’t love what you do, it will be hard to keep yourself motivated – particularly long-term. Sure, you may be able to push on through sheer force of will for a while, but sooner or later you’ll lose motivation entirely. Do something you genuinely enjoy, and you’ll find it much easier to stick with it for the long haul.

These last few tips are Industry-related!

1. Make sure you have fun projects

Not all of your work projects will be fun, but fight to make at least a couple of them fun. These might even be personal side projects, not particularly related to your main job. Or they might be in the same general field, but not your specific focus.

2. Attend industry events a couple of times a year

Nearly every imaginable industry has an organising body of some kind. Find the local branch, and use it to keep tabs on industry-related events. Attend some seminars, network, and maybe even glean some new tips and tricks from industry insiders.

3. Schedule at least one call a week to learn something within your industry

View this as an opportunity for personal development. At least once a week, try to learn something new about your industry. For me, this might mean calling a new tool provider to demonstrate their gadgets. Whatever your industry, try to expand your horizons a little bit every week. You’ll learn new methods and make new connections at the same time.

These tips worked for me, hopefully, some of them will help you out as well. Above all, strive to enjoy what you do, stick to a “work schedule,” and look for opportunities for constant self-improvement. With those ideas in mind, you’ll find staying motivated much easier to do alone or in a group!

Continue Reading

Trending