Does this dialogue sound familiar?
‘Hey! How are you?’
‘Busy, as usual. Yourself?’
‘Yeah – really busy. Life’s just crazy, you know?’
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
- Things you don’t want to do, and actually don’t need to do.
- Things you don’t want to do, but actually do need to do (the frogs).
- Things you want to do and actually do need to do.
- 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!
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!
20 Science-Backed Ways to Stay Motivated (Infographic)
Motivation is something we all strive to have, but can also be one of those feelings that’s hard to keep. Whether we’re attempting to reach a new fitness goal or trying to stay motivated in our role at work, sometimes that motivation just isn’t there. You feel motivated for a while – you’ll listen to podcasts, read books, keep yourself accountable – but then it’s lost. You feel so much energy at the start, then feel yourself slowly losing that inspiration. Don’t worry, you’re not alone. (more…)
How To Create Everlasting Motivation To Achieve Your Goals
If you’d like to learn how to consistently motivate yourself so you can achieve any goal you want, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.
People are always waiting for motivation to strike them before they start working on their goals. However, waiting for motivation to come to you before you start working is an unreliable method if you want to consistently work on achieving your goals. (more…)
8 Things You Can Do Right Now to Get Your Motivation Back
Welcome to our new normal. A time in our lives that a year ago we certainly didn’t see coming that most of us probably wouldn’t have chosen for ourselves; but here we are. As the days away from each other carry on and more and more bad news comes our way, it’s easy to lose your motivation and waste energy doing things that aren’t helpful like worrying and fighting with people on the internet instead.
Nearly half of Americans report the coronavirus crisis is harming their mental health, according to the Washington Post. While many of us had routines set up to deal with stress in the past, the stress we are facing during this time is unlike anything we’ve experienced before. It’s easy to find yourself in a downward spiral, and that’s the most challenging time to stop the momentum and turn things around. If that’s the case, keep it simple and start to reach for little things to help you feel better and climb your way out.
Here’s a reminder of a few simple things you can do right now to start getting positive momentum going your way:
1. Find someone who was in a similar place and made it to the other side
Whether you’ve been unmotivated to workout, eat healthy, make sales calls or simply do anything, you can find someone who has been there and made it to the other side. Look up some great TED talks, go on YouTube and look up people that motivate you, google them to find their websites. There are short speeches and much longer talks all over the internet, you just need to find someone who you relate to that speaks to you.
2. Do something that you love
When we’re unmotivated, it’s easy to get out of the habit of doing what we love. Sometimes just getting out of bed or away from the tv feels like a chore. Think back to a time in your life when you felt great – what were you doing? What do you absolutely love to do that if you had the time, you would do all day and not realize any time had passed at all?
Figure out a way to do whatever that is, or a modified version of it if it is something that you aren’t able to do at the present time. Spending time doing what you love will get your mind off of anything that is wrong and allow you to find inspiration.
3. Don’t overcomplicate it
Keep it simple. When we’re stuck in a rut, we’ll give ourselves every excuse to not do something. Say you’ve gained some weight; you might tell yourself you need to find the perfect trainer and wait until you have time to cook your meals from scratch each night before you do anything else. Stop trying to overcomplicate it and keep it simple by finding one thing you can do right now, however small that may be. You don’t have to wait until the timing is perfect and the stars align for you to start moving in the direction you want to go.
4. Get up and get moving
This is probably the last thing you want to do right now, but once you are up and moving, your blood will start flowing. The hardest part is getting started. Day one, get up and do anything to get moving. This is the hardest day if you haven’t in a while because getting up is really the hardest part. Day two, do a little more. Once you start, you’ll build momentum and get back in the habit.
5. Reset your focus
It’s so easy for worry to set in and for our minds to wander to places of what we can’t control. This is not motivating or helpful and we always have a choice to redirect our attention. There is always something we can do right where we are, so bring your focus to the solution instead of the problem and figure out the next step of what you can do.
One step at a time. Step one, take your attention away from what you can’t control and what you can’t do. Step two, ask yourself questions like “What can I do?” and see what comes to mind. Follow through with the answers you find.
6. Listen to your favorite music
Not much can lift our spirits and put us into a positive vibration more than our favorite music. Feel free to sing along. Find a song that pumps you up and make that your theme song. Put it on anytime you feel down or unmotivated.
7. Expand your knowledge
“In times of change, the learners will inherit the Earth, while the learned find themselves beautifully equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” Quote by Eric Hoffer. In times of change, there is great loss but also great opportunity. Continually learning opens you to new opportunities and leads you to paths you may not have otherwise found.
If you’re already a meditator and got away from it, take some time to come back to it. If you’ve never tried, it can be as easy as setting a timer for five minutes (or less, feel free to start with one or two minutes) and focusing on your breath. Listen to the inhalations and exhalations. Silently say to yourself “in” as you inhale and “out” as you exhale. Even taking a few minutes to do this can help you to calm down and allow your mind to refocus.
When we’re unmotivated, our momentum starts moving in the other direction. Slow down that momentum by trying one of the ideas above. Once you’ve slowed down the momentum, get it moving in the right direction and you’ll be well on your way.
Why Isn’t Anyone Talking About These 4 Motivation-Boosting Techniques?
If you’d like to learn how to increase your motivation so you can get more done during the day, sign up for the free 90-Day Master Class hosted by the founder of Addicted2Success.com, Joel Brown.
How many times have you heard the questions: “What drives you” or “What excites you?” These questions may come from well-meaning people but they make one problematic assumption – Our motivation depends on something external. As a result, instead of actively building structures that motivate, we find ourselves aimlessly looking for some outside factors that will motivate us. Instead of asking: “What motivates me?” We should be asking, what am I doing to remain motivated? The answer to this question lies in the doing, not motivation itself. (more…)
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