I hate the word busy!
I know…. I also hate the word hate because it’s such a strong word but I feel like it’s valid here.
We live in a world of BUSY! Everyone is too busy….too busy to further their education. Too busy to work the leads coming in. Too busy to add a new business tool that could completely change their life. Too busy to enjoy their spouse. And the list goes on.
But what does busy mean?? Miriam Webster defines it as “full of distracting detail”. Um…yes! Let’s sit on this word distracting for a second friends. Can you name a thing or 2 that may be distracting in your day?? Haha! I can name many in less than 10 seconds!! Phone, social media. email, kids, dog, husband, staff, clients, etc….
Now mind you many of the things on this list are GOOD things….GREAT things even! I wouldn’t be in business if it wasn’t for my clients. I wouldn’t be a mom if it wasn’t for my kiddos. I wouldn’t be sane if it wasn’t for my husband! Distracting doesn’t necessarily mean bad at all! But it does mean that your attention is getting diverted to multiple things and therefore not being as efficient as possible.
Did you know that multi-tasking is actually completely in-efficient?? According to Forbes.com, multi-tasking reduces your efficiency and performance. Research also shows that in addition to slowing you down, multitasking lowers your IQ!! What the what??? I used to pride myself in being the best multi-tasker in town!! And to some degree, as a working mom, I have to be able to do several things at once sometimes. I have 3 girls so being able to apply my eyeliner while talking to my 7-year-old about a meanie in her class, help my 10-year-old pick a scrunchie color to match her outfit and help my teenager decipher a random Instagram post from a friend is necessary!
But for the most part, doing many things at once means you’re not doing any of them really well! As I’ve learned this, I’ve implemented 2 things in my life that I now cannot live without to help me stay organized and on-task!
The first is time blocking! If you don’t do this, you must start! Time blocking has changed my life and has not only helped me to be more productive but also helps me to have less stress. When we have LOTS of to-do items swimming in our heads, it can feel overwhelming and we just shut down. Or we don’t know where to start our day. But with time blocking, I take my to-do list and block a dedicated amount of time in my calendar to get it done. This allows it to get out of my head and now I can see that I have plenty of time to get all the things done this week (or not!). If I run out of available slots in my calendar, I know something has got to go!
The other is Trello! Honestly, it’s been life-changing! And I know our Brand Manager, Arthur, will laugh at this because he tried for 7 months to get me to use it and I just kept saying “I don’t have time for another app!” but as I started to come around to it, I don’t know what I would do without it! It’s basically a hyper-organized, online to-do list. I can assign tasks to my staff, they can add notes to the status of the task, we can add attachments, deadlines, video files, etc… It has cut out so much of our email back and forth AND it keeps our projects on task so we don’t get excited about something and then forget who’s working on it! If you want to try it for free, click my referral link here: https://trello.com/brandeegaar/recommend.
I hope you’ll try one of these and let me know how it helped you to be more productive! After all, we all get the same 24 hours….how are you using yours??
I help creative business owners sustainably scale their business so they can create a thriving career and work-life balance.
small biz coach
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