Have you struggled to find time to get progress on your projects when you are just too busy?
It’s a very common problem. Everyone is busy these days…
I think busy might be the new black. Some wear it like a badge of honour.
It’s a bit like if you’re not busy, you’re just not important enough.
For others, it is a source of embarrassment.
I sometimes notice myself begin conversations with an apology for not being more available.
Students often apologise for not having made progress on their goals.
When people started relating to you as “busy”, you will catch yourself telling yourself that you are too busy.
Or am I the only who talks to themselves?
When you head down the “too busy” path, life gets caught up in a sort of frenzied holding pattern.
You have the capacity and the plan to achieve your wildest dreams but are just too busy to put it into action.
Weeks turn into months and months turn into years and before you know it, your opportunity for a different, better future have passed you by.
I don’t know of anyone in their final years that regretted not being busy enough.
“Busy” is robbing you of your dreams.
Sometimes being super busy can be a way of unconsciously avoiding taking decisive action when you are feeling challenged.
Our subconscious mind is a sneaky little beast, it taps into our deepest emotions, senses our apprehension and then does everything in its power to keep us away from the thing that scares us. Not very helpful.
A bit like when an important assignment or report is due in, and you find yourself suddenly inspired to do a full spring clean, or tackle a mountain of ironing with new found enthusiasm!
This is how I tackle the problem…
Get A Reality Check:
Ask yourself: “On a scale of one to ten, how committed am I to achieving this goal”.
One being “Meh?” and ten being “I’ll walk over hot coals ”.
If the answer is anything less than an eight, you’re probably not invested enough.
Higher than an 8, then ask yourself “Is the way I am spending my discretionary time consistent with my level of commitment to my goal?”
If it’s NO, then you have some work to do.
Firstly, Address The Self Talk:
Notice how often you tell yourself you are too busy.
Your words create your reality.
I have found it useful when that familiar “I’m too busy ‘ thought creeps in to switch to “ I have enough time to do everything that is important to me”.
“Whether you think you can, or you think you can’t–you’re right…Henry Ford”
The next thing to do is prove to yourself that you do in fact have enough time to do what’s important to you..
Clear The Decks
Take a look at how you spend your time. Look at your weekly schedule. Decide on the activities , events and people that matter to you and eliminate everything and everyone else. This applies especially to facebook. If you have ever said you’re too busy and you spend any more than 5 minutes a day on facebook, you’re kidding yourself. Facebook is an effective way to keep up with family and friends but if you don’t get in and get out quickly you WILL get sucked into a vortex of cat videos and cauliflower recipes.
Focus On The Important
One of my mentors, Dale Beaumont calls them the big rocks. He recommends developing a 90 day plan for discretionary time ( the time outside your normal job/business activities) Decide on the big rocks first, the things that are important: your family, holidays and key projects for the quarter.
You then break your key projects down into 5 milestones and work on achieving those five milestones in 90 days.
If you were to carve out a couple of hours a week, you WOULD make progress.
Outsource The Challenging And The Unimportant
Let’s start with the unimportant. There are some things that just have to be done but wont progress your project.
Things like housework & ironing are on the top of my agenda! I figure it makes more sense to pay someone to do it, they will do it in half the time and I can free the time up to make money.
As far as challenges are concerned, sourcing property is the one that seems to trip most up on.
They will spend months researching and trying to source a deal and end up frustrated.
I encourage our students to engage one of our property strategists or buyers agents. This speeds up the process.
Of course not anyone will do, our needs are very specific but I prefer to spend my energy on researching a suitable professional.
Then I have a constant stream of deals when I need them.
Some people are reluctant to spend the money on outsourcing, I would argue that if you are not progressing because you are too busy or stuck, then you are missing out big time on the profit you could be earning. By spending a relatively small amount of money to get you jump started will make you a larger amount of money.
You will find that 80% of your results come from twenty percent of your activities. This is the pareto principle.
When you are consumed by busy, you can fall into the trap of thinking that if you are not flat out, your not being effective.
You may find your time filled with tasks that could be considered important or useful but don’t actually achieve any serious progress. For example, pouring for hours over realestate.com and property magazines to research your next move and come out of it feeling like you have done a lot but achieved nothing and can end up feeling more confused and frustrated than ever.
Instead, identify the 20% activities that will give you the biggest result (the big rocks) and carve out an hour or two a week to get started on them.
In reality, I have found my biggest achievements have happened quite quickly, in a conversation that opens an opportunity or doing a property deal with massive profit potential.
So we have looked at how busy affects our ability to achieve results from several angles. Often it is a symptom of a deeper sense of fear or challenge. You can tackle it by firstly getting clear on how committed you are to your project, then look at how you spend your time and remove anything or any one who is not important to you.
Identify the big rocks in your plan, outsource the unimportant and the challenging, apply the Pareto Principle and focus your energy on the 20% of the activities that get you the biggest results.
As the great philosopher, Nike once said: Just do it!!