Have you ever had intentions to be productive and clean out your packed to the gills medicine cabinet, only to realize two hours later that you were just staying busy testing out all the “almost expired” products and trying on different lip stick colors you forgot you had?
Or have you ever had intentions to be productive and clean out your email inbox, but really you were just staying busy by clicking on a gazillion sales links from one enticing Loft email that promised you an awesome deal?
It get it, girl. I get it. I can happen to us all.
While it is okay to get distracted once in a while, it is not okay to call yourself productive while you are actually not getting anything done off your priority list. You were just staying “busy”.
I noticed this was happening to me with work! Many times I would end my 8 hour work day and feel completely drained. But when I really sat and thought about it, if I cut down all of my “busy” work, I am sure I could have walked away from work about 2 hours earlier.
I was talking to a friend recently who owns her own business and she said that she wakes up at 7am and starts her priority list almost immediately. She gets everything done by noon so she has the rest of the day to do whatever she wants. But she stays diligent to her tasks and never sways or gets distracted.
I gave it a go. Here is what I did...
1. Each morning I woke up and started my day with a clear mind by taking deep breathes and releasing the clutter from my mind. This usually looked like sitting on my back porch listening to the birds and enjoying coffee without overthinking.
2. I would head into my office and start to make a list of everything I absolutely needed to get done that day.
3. I then added a bonus list- things I needed to tackle, but weren't urgent.
4. I went to work. I made sure to scratch off everything on my priority list first thing without having other tabs open on my computer screen, leaving social media alone, turning my phone ringer off, and most importantly, I did not check my email.
It was astonishing how much faster I moved and how increasingly focused I became. After everything was crossed off of my priority list, I would take a break for lunch, go for a walk, call a friend, etc. Afterwards I would pick one or two things to cross off of my bonus list. However, I made a promise to myself that every 2 hours I would get up to stretch, get water and let my eyes take a break from the computer screen when I was tackling my priorities. It is important to reset your eyes and brain.
By doing this I have been able to open my day up to do more things that make me feel really good on a personal level. Life isn't about being a slave to busy work or chores. It is about working smarter so you have more time to do what fills up your cup (besides having a job/business you love). For me that is hiking with my husband, going to mediation classes, meeting a friend for coffee, etc. Then when I wake up the next morning, I am actually excited to be productive again.
Give it a go if you noticed you are the Queen Bee of being busy! By the way, my husband and I do this now with getting chores done (we write lists, divide and conquer!), planning parties, and tackling errands.
"Don't confuse activity with productivity. Many people are simply busy being busy." -Robin S. Sharma