I am Busy this week. Aren’t we all? Here’s a synopsis of some of what is on my to do list: Research, write and submit two proposals, meet with at least 3 advertisers, record, edit and publish a podcast for GeekGrls, post a bunch of ideas on my blog, come up with my lesson plans for school which starts in a little over 3 weeks, follow up with current clients. And oh, yah…crank out at least 2 scripts for a television show. And it’s only Tuesday. Of course, that doesn’t count the personal stuff I need to get done.
Busy is great – I wouldn’t have it any other way. But Busy can go two ways – you can either let it get the best of you (and end up curled up in the corner in the fetal position for the rest of the day), or you can embrace it.
Feeling overwhelmed? Here are a few tips for overcoming the Busy in your life:
1) Find a partner in crime. I have a business partner. Half of the stuff we get done on a weekly basis wouldn’t be possible if we didn’t have each other. We both have crazy lives outside of work and crazy deadlines inside of work. We rely on each other immensely during the Busy. Finding someone to split the workload will make you more productive, and ultimately more profitable. Just make sure it’s the right person. My partner and I have spent 13 years building a relationship of mutual understanding and respect. It’s like a marriage of sorts – we have to work at it. Good partnerships are hard to find – but when they work, they work really well. And it helps tremendously knowing there is someone there to share the load.
2) Make lots of lists. Don’t try to keep everything in your head – you will never sleep at night. I can’t stress enough how much lists can help you to over come that overwhelmed feeling. I have multiple lists. My calendar, my white board, my BlackBerry, and my notebook all have different lists for different reasons. There’s no tried and true way – find a system outside of your mental list that works for you.
3) Delegate delegate delegate. One of the main stresses of the Busy is trying to do too much yourself. If your to do list is getting you down, figure out which tasks you can delegate. The biggest task hubby and I outsourced this year was housecleaning. Sure, it costs a bit, but less than you think. And now, the last thing on my mind is having to clean the bathtub or mop the floor. And that makes it worth every penny. So, figure out where you can outsource. Hire an intern. Ask your spouse or kids to help you. Hire a virtual assistant. Still don’t think you can delegate? Read Tim Ferriss’ The Four Hour Workweek and your mind will be forever changed.
4) Stay in the Now. Perhaps the most important rule for overcoming Busy is to stay in the present moment. Really, the present moment is all we have. All the to do lists in the world cannot make up for the fact that everything on that list is in the future. And the future ain’t here yet. If you find yourself getting overwhelmed thinking of all those things on your list that haven’t happened yet, stop. Sit back. Take some deep breaths. Regain your presence in THIS moment. I promise you will not only feel less overwhelmed, you will enjoy the process of the Busy much more. And read Eckhart Tolle’s The Power of Now, it’s life-altering.
At the end of the day, the Busy is good. But managing the Busy is the way to truly get the most out of life and work. How do you manage your Busy?