Busyness vs. Intention
We hear about the importance of living with intention vs. busyness. However, we equate being busy with being productive and successful. With my family in Georgia, our southern roots said busyness was next to Godliness! What time did you get up? How much did you get done before breakfast? Then, how hard did you work before lunch? The more you did, bustling with busyness, the better you were!
How do we change this mindset? Here, we will cover five ways. First, have a plan. Second, create small tasks. Then, understand the best times to work. Next, pay attention to your budget, then identify a lifestyle you love. Let’s start with your plan.
One: Have a Plan
A good plan will help you be strategic with your schedule. Without a plan? You will be working with busyness, aimlessly spinning your wheels really going nowhere. This is especially important in challenging times. It may be necessary for you to reinvent your business or pivot with the change of the economy, illness or natural disaster. It is crucial to first put a new, strategic plan together.
I’m a big list person. Not everyone is of the list mindset, but if I write down a task, my list will remember it for me! (as long as I refer to it!) With your business, you will put your list together after putting together your solid business plan that includes measurable objectives and strategies for your work. Those goals will also help you stay focused and not just rush around in circles with busyness. One of the best choices you can make is to get a good guide to help you with this. That decision could save you time, money and energy!
Two: Create Small Tasks
The small tasks you create should be those you can intentionally fit in your schedule, usually between other projects. They should be aligned in accordance to your business plan or life plan. You’ve probably noticed many restaurants now have small bites or small portions. They have discovered the value of creating options of ordering smaller plates. The same small bites principle applies here with creating small tasks for your projects.
These small projects will also improve your productivity. In the area of professional development, if there are skills you need to improve or areas to expand with classes or online training, divide those up into small chunks that are doable. Schedule these consistently in your calendar. (See Why Plans and Goals are Important)
Three: Understand the Best Times to Work
Here, you’ll need to evaluate your energy level throughout the day. Are you a morning person? I don’t necessarily call myself a morning person, but I get up very early and get some work done before going to the gym. It increases my productivity as some days hold unexpected interruptions in the afternoon. However, by then I know I’ve already accomplished many items on my list.
Many of my musician friends work better in the evening or nighttime hours. Find out what works best for you and schedule your days, then weeks. Also, identify time-wasters, then work on eliminating them. That will increase your productivity in spades. Time-wasters can include anything from time on social media, Netflix, or even extra work created from disorganization and clutter, which leads to more busyness!
Four: Watch the Cash!
It is very freeing to not have to worry about money. I understand this is a luxury not everyone has! However, many don’t really watch where their funds are going and could buy more freedom with extra resources. Intentional choices of cutting extra specialty coffees, going out to eat, entertainment, that new car…there are so many areas that can be trimmed in your budget that will free you up.
One of the best words of advice that was given to me during an interview I did for my very first book Stuck is Not a Four Letter Word was watch the cash. This came from a very successful builder of a major shopping mall. Even at his level, those were his wise words of advice. I definitely listened!
Five: Identify a Lifestyle You Love
Along with identifying a lifestyle you love, identify the work you love. Keep both of those at the forefront of your thoughts. What you love to do, along with your identifiable ideal lifestyle will be the guidance you need for refining your plan and breaking projects into small chunks.
I will add one thing here—keeping a strong mission or purpose in the forefront of your ideal work and lifestyle. Your purpose will help you roll out of bed on the mornings when you are exhausted and weary of working so hard! Center your thoughts and focus to combat the busyness that comes with a lack of direction.
I love to stay busy but want my busyness to revolve around my intentional purpose and direction. It helps me to plan my schedule in 90-day chunks. Then, if I need to pivot, it is fairly easy to change direction. In fact, at the time of this article, many live public events cancelled because of the Coronavirus. There became an immediate need for leaders, speakers and entertainers to regroup and put together virtual events and content.
For this reason, I created a short instructional video on using ZOOM for online courses and master classes. (https://youtu.be/mCKufXnx9uY) In many ways, this fit in with the mission of my master plan. Though never listed as a specific project, it became an intentional move in fulfilling my purpose, not just the busyness of another project. I hope this has helped you with creative, intentional ideas to move forward in your life and business.