3 Ways to Keep Busyness at Bay
Enjoy family time, chores and business priorities without all the distraction
It’s mid-summer and the schedule is getting crazy. We are all trying to juggle what we want to do with our summertime and what we need to do in our business. It seem like the we get busy and we are running from one event to another trying to fit in some vacations and relaxation but how can you relax when you business need your attention. First of all, prepare your team to handle your business without you. This was the theme of lasts months article. Second try these 3 tips for focusing your energy to be productive and not just busy.
Busyness happens because life happens. Every day, every minute, there are new things thrown in to our lives that need to be dealt with. Some of them are true emergencies and everything needs to stop and all attention must be focused on the emergency. But this is far from the norm yet we often stop everything for the simplest things. Even an energetic client that what to know when his order will be delivered doesn’t deserve a call back at 9:30 at night when you and the family are enjoying a show. I’ve done this before, gotten up from the theater and called back a customer who no longer remembered that he call and was less than interested in disrupting his family time to talk about the project.
1. Plan: The only way to handle the barrage of random stuff that happens is to have a plan. Then when a request comes in your first reaction is not to respond but to remember the plan an use it to guide your next steps. Devise an action plan like David Allen describes in his book Getting Things Done. Have a list for everything. Use it to prioritize your activity and drive your action from your Action List. If a new action comes in they put it on the list. When you are available to perform actions it will be there in the list. You don’t have to worry about forgetting it or worse yet doing it right now so as to not forget later.
2. Prioritize Everything: Now that you have a plan, prioritize everything. Especially your family activities and chores. I’ve often spent the evening watching mindless TV shows and completely forgot to clean the garage. This is easy for me but if I had a gentle reminder I would have to raise the stress level of my wife and end up in an argument or getting it done but through anger and irritation.
3. Trust: The hardest part of having a plan is to trust it. What if I don’t remember? What if I miss a critical phone call? These questions will be answered when you have a plan that you trust. A trustworthy plan is one that you use regularly. It you don’t put everything into the plan then you have to worry about if it in the plan or not, or if its in a different plan. One plan and everything in it, that the goal. Use one calendar for appointments, one “to do” list system for everything else and for goodness sake get your email inbox to zero every day.
Busyness can be a soul crushing activity, but with proper planning you can create a system you trust where you set the priorities and are free to focus on your most pressing business issue, family activity or cleaning the garage.
Todd Luhtanen is an entrepreneur, software developer, coworking founder, music studio owner, foundation president, mentor to young professionals and coach to small business owners.
email: email@example.com, twitter: @IMdisruptive