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Thrive more in your life and work by shifting your focus from being busy to being effective.

The problem with being busy that is often overlookedBeing over busy seems to have become accepted as the norm in life and work.

But being constantly busy creates many problems. Some are obvious like feeling overwhelmed, stuck, stressed and exhausted.

It is difficult to feel like you are thriving in your life, work, or business when this is your reality.

However, there is an another big problem with being busy that will keep you stuck, but is often overlooked.

It is this:

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you are being productive or effective.

And if you aren’t being productive or effective, that will be reflected in your results and outcomes in all areas of your life, work and business.

Just because you are busy doesn’t mean you are moving forward with your most important goals or what matters most. It doesn’t mean you will achieve the results you most want to achieve.

Being constantly busy can lead to making mistakes, negatively impact your decision making, damage relationships (personal and professional), reduces the quality of your work and will suck the life out of you. The list of the damage being constantly busy can do could go on and on. But the bottom line is this:

Busyness is not the key to successfully achieving your goals or thriving in life, work or business.

So it is time to break the busy habit and escape the busy trap.

A useful way to deal with this is to shift your focus away from your busyness and focus on your levels of effectiveness instead.

Effectiveness is defined as the extent to which your efforts are successful in producing the results and outcomes you most want to achieve.

And that is a far better metric and focus area than being busy.

Here are a few questions to ask yourself to get started with shifting from busy to being more effective.

Keep in mind your most important goals, the outcomes and results you most want to achieve and what matters most as you ask yourself these questions:

  • Am I being busy or effective?
  • What needs to change for me to be less busy?
  • What needs to change so I am more effective?
  • In what ways is being busy detrimental to what matters most and the results I want to achieve?
  • What boundaries do I need to put in place to be less busy and be more effective?
  • How would my life, work or business benefit from me being more effective?
  • What habits do I need to foster that will help me be more effective and get better results consistently?
  • What action will I take to break the busy trap and to focus on and build effectiveness instead?

In the quest to achieve your most important goals, create the results you most want to achieve and to thrive in your life, work and business, the focus on effectiveness trumps the focus on busyness every time.

Choose to stop the busy habit. It does not serve you and it does not serve getting better results. Instead put your focus and attention firmly on your level of personal effectiveness.

Download Your Free Transformation in Action Self-Assessment Workbook.

  • carla birnberg

    Oh this is all so very true. And since I’ve swapped I’m busy for it’s not a priority right now – – my life has become extraordinarily honest but awkward 🙂
    I used that exact phrase with a friend yesterday and I could see her register a bit of surprise but it was the truth. What she was suggesting we do I was absolutely not too busy for – – none of us are busy 🙂 – – but it was not a priority right now.

  • That’s great Carla. Mindset is such a big part of shifting from busy to effective.

  • Spot on Ali! I have challenged people when they tell me how ‘busy’ they are, I ask what is it that your are doing that makes you this busy. The reaction is sometime I am being rude but I am just not buying it, we are all busy but if it is just an excuse say so, I prefer honesty!

  • I think busy is a choice. But often folks didn’t it that way as it is such a deeply ingrained habit and so widely accepted as the norm in our society.

  • Roxanne Jones

    Such a spot-on message, Ali! I’ve worked with so many of these oh-so-busy (and not very productive people) over the years. They remind me of the Pig Pen character in the Charlie Brown comic strip–the one with the swirling storm above his head. Too many people equate busyness with productivity, and it really is just the opposite!

  • Oh this is me to a tee! I have only recently become cognizant about it and taking steps to fix it. Great post Ali!

  • Great that you have become aware of it Rena. Awareness is the first step in creating change.

  • Glad you enjoyed it Roxanne. I think narrative around busyness needs to change.