How Busy Are You?
How busy are you? It was a question I asked a group of business women this week. They sighed wearily and nodded that they were very busy indeed. Being busy is one of the hazards of running your own business: I’ve yet to come across a coaching client who isn’t very busy.
Being busy is neither good nor bad. The real question to ask yourself is ‘am I busy in the right kind of way?’
Different kinds of busy
I believe there are four different kinds of busy and some kinds of ‘busy’ are more productive than others. The first way is ‘busy fire-fighting;’ the second way is ‘busy getting nowhere;’ the third is ‘busy being a zombie’ and the fourth is ‘busy being creative.’ Let me explain more.
You will know if you fall into the ‘busy fire-fighting’ category because you will spend your life in an adrenalin haze. You will be forever running late, missing deadlines, putting too much in your diary and generally finding yourself in constant ‘catch-up’ mode. People who are ‘busy fire-fighting’ are always on the verge of a crisis. They are people who are stressed and rushing around. It is an exhausting place to be in.
Busy being a zombie
People are often surprised when I talk about ‘busy being a zombie’. This is when you crash out and can hardly function because you’re so tired. If you sometimes find yourself flopping in front of the TV unable to think, or trying to read a book but not taking it in, then you are ‘busy being a zombie.’ You often end up in this place when you spend a lot of time ‘busy fire-fighting.’
Busy going nowhere
The third kind of busy is ‘busy getting nowhere.’ When you are busy getting nowhere, you tend to find yourself busy doing things that seem pressing, but actually aren’t very important. If you work in an organisation and you attend pointless meetings or you go off at tangents with emails, then this is an example of busy getting nowhere. At home if you end up on going to events that don’t resonate with you, or you do unnecessary housework then these are example of ‘busy getting nowhere’.
Busy being creative
I have found that the best kind of busy is to be ‘busy being creative.’ When you’re busy being creative you’re able to really focus on the things that are important in your life. This might be spending time with children or loved ones; it might be taking up a hobby, going to your allotment or enjoying nature. When you are ‘busy being creative’ you are actually re’energising yourself; your life is full and you’re enjoying yourself.
The best way to be ‘busy being creative’ is to put systems and routines in place to support you. It might be shopping for food on-line, finding a cleaner, getting a book-keeper or gardener. It could be planning your weekly shop and menu on a monthly basis, or freezing meals or carrying out regular DIY and maintenance work in order to stop the crises from occurring.
If you’d like to spend more time ‘busy being creative’ then ask yourself, ‘What could I put in place to support myself in being creative?’