When Did It Become Cool To Be Busy?
Ok, I’ve got to ask…. Since when did busy-ness become a badge of honor ?
Since when do we rate how successful we are by the lack of free time in our calendar ?
This is a pretty serious issue that bugs me a LOT.
We’ve grown to believe that when someone asks how business is going, a great answer (that signifies that you’re doing awesome in your biz) is Oh, hectic, super busy.
Why is that? Why do we think that the person with the fullest calendar is running the best business?
Seriously peeps, it just isn’t sensible. Or sustainable for that matter.
I’ve watched this from the sidelines, and it ain’t pretty. An entrepreneur intent on being busy… an endless to-do list, constant meetings, appointments, pushing, striving, juggling, multi-tasking.
Yikes, it’s exhausting just thinking about it!
Let's look at two paths available to a little entrepreneur who lives this way. (Let’s call her Betty.)
Option #1: She keeps adding more and more to her calendar and eventually collapses on the floor in a heap. (Hello, health and relationship problems!)
Option #2: After years of wearing busy-ness as a badge of honor, Betty wakes up one day and realizes that all the joy, passion and enthusiasm she had for her business has evaporated. And the thought of doing this for another five years scares the hell out of her.
Hmmm. Does this make you feel a little uncomfortable? Perhaps you’ve fallen into the oh-so-easy trap of thinking that being busy means being productive.
How much of your busy-ness is actually getting you closer to where you want to be? And while we’re on that topic, what if you shifted from a place of wanting to "get somewhere" to simply being present and just enjoying the ride?
I’m not saying you need to throw away your goals, I’m just suggesting that perhaps you think a little more about what's behind those goals.
What does that mean ?
Let’s say Betty wants her business to be a huge success because she wants to buy a house on the beach. Perhaps it’s time to explore why she really wants a house on the beach. She wants to be able to spend more time outside, playing and feeling free.
A mentor once shared a very simple concept with me that has changed the way I think about goals forever:
Don’t focus on the goal, focus on the outcome of the goal.
So, in Betty’s case, instead of working like a crazy person (and ending up either collapsed on the floor, or dreading going to work every morning), what if she focused on the outcome of the goal, which was to enjoy more time outside, playing and feeling free, and actually spent some time doing that?
I guess what I’m trying to say is that there is a third option for Betty.
Option #3: She can take some time out, throw away her badge and make her own rules.
I absolutely adore when I talk to an entrepreneur who is just cruising…. no hectic busy-ness, no jam-packed calendar, just cruising along and enjoying the ride.
Isn’t that the reason why most of us wanted our own business in the first place? Freedom???
Tim Kreider wrote a great essay in the New York Times called "The Busy Trap."
If you’re not too busy, perhaps you could read it?