Yesterday, I shared my three lists of ideas for being awesome!
Today, let’s talk about busy verses productive and how those each affect happiness.
But first, I adore this quote and I hope it speaks to you as it does me.
“In an age of speed, I began to think, nothing could be more invigorating than going slow.
In an age of distraction, nothing can feel more luxurious than paying attention.
And in an age of constant movement, nothing is more urgent than sitting still.
You can go on vacation to Hawaii or New Orleans three months from now, and you’ll have a tremendous time, I’m sure.
But if you want to come back feeling new – alive and full of fresh hope and in love with the world – I think the place to visit may be Nowhere.”
~ Pico Iyer, The Art of Stillness
I’m finding that it’s very easy to be busy, distracted, and unfocused… that’s what I’ve learned to be and that seem to be what society thinks we should all be like.
If I’m not careful that’s my day, my week, and my month.
This brings up a few points that I want to make today. And I would love a discussion in the group on this if you’d like.
Part 1. Busy is NOT always productive.
I’ve been saying this for over a decade and I’m sure lots of other smart people have said it too. Because it’s true.
I have friends and I’ve had coaching clients who tell me “I’m busy working ALL day”.
So I say “Great, what did you get done today?”
And, then I’m met with stuttering and silence. Or a list of things that are not money tasks, meaning they aren’t moving the person closer to his or her financial and lifestyle goals.
I don’t judge. It’s what we know. Staying busy. If we keep our brains active, even if it’s on stuff that doesn’t need to be done, then we don’t have to actually think about, face, and deal with the things that might not be as fun. Hurts and disappointments. (At least I know that CAN be the reason. It may not be for you.)
Busy can be actually, in my opinion, a form of addiction. It’s avoidance. Plain and simple. Just as much as drinking a bottle of wine or playing video games can be.
We are rewarded for avoidance in two ways.
- We get to look at fun pictures of kittens or do “really important things” (that may not actually be moving you forward, but it feels important… because, you know, people “liked” it).
- We get to avoid doing the things that aren’t as fun. Usually the things that really matter and move us towards actual health and wealth and happiness.
In Psychology, that’s both getting a reward and avoiding punishment in one fell swoop. Wow! We’re pretty smart! That’s a heck of a coping mechanism – except for one thing. It doesn’t serve us.
BUT … what if we had a list of THREE things every day that were planned ahead (the day before) that we were going to do that were going to make us more awesome?
Things to grow our businesses, things to really truly improve our lives, and things to make us feel part of making the world a better place?
Guess what? You can! Create those and then put the busy aside and make YOUR business and YOUR life your priority right now. Because you deserve it. And that’s what I hope you’re working on for this month. Hopefully you have a goal of what you’re working on, but if not, go back to those ideas lists or ask in the group and we can help.
These should be things that move YOU and YOUR BUSINESS forward. Truly, towards growing your list, creating offers that you can sell, or getting more exposure. There’s not a whole lot more to business than that.
And for your life? What would make you happier, healthier, and more like the Awesome YOU that you dream to be? Do those things. Refer back to the story about James if you need to.
Then baby step your way to getting it DONE. ANY progress is progress. 🙂
As for making the world a better place? Don’t overthink it. My definition of “the world” is anything outside of your immediate family or your home.
- Bring up the trash for your elderly neighbor? Done.
- Send in a ream of paper to school with your kid? Done.
- See someone who looked like she was having a tough day? But she was wearing fabulous pants? Or her hair was beautiful? Tell her! Done.
- Let the person with one thing in their hand go ahead of you in the checkout line. Done.
Part 2. Faster is NOT always better.
Along the same lines of being busy, and we’ll talk about this again towards the end of the month, I don’t want your busy mindless days to turn into busy mindless weeks that turn into months without consciously taking the time to SAVOR a moment here and there and be thankful that you have the good in your life. To stop and just take a deep breath and appreciate the fact that you can.
I’m not preaching. Heavens no. Like I said, I have to be conscious of the same thing. I can get to the end of the day and realize that all I’ve done since my husband and daughter have been home is to issue questions and orders like a Marine. “Pick up your backpack and take it to your room.” “Is your homework done?” “Can you please unload the dishwasher so I can get dinner made?”
So today, I want to give you (and me) permission to SLOW down. Yes, I know the dishes need doing, and the dogs need dinner, and Facebook notifications are blowing up, and you have so many things vying for your attention. And they’ll all still be there when you come back.
Ideally take at least 20 minutes for you. Whether it’s part of your awesomization goals to meditate or pray or give yourself a little pampering or do a quick language lesson online or play your violin that you haven’t touched since high school (Staci Ann) – YOU DESERVE IT.
You CAN press pause on the world. Don’t worry. It’ll be there when you get back. 🙂
If you truly can’t find 20 minutes to yourself (for instance if you’re a single mom with special needs toddler and also care-taking for an elderly parent with no help) – I get it. It’s HARD for you. Start to practice peace in the eye of the storm. It’s something that I’ve been working on. I’m actually currently in training to be a yoga teacher (yay me!) and through lots of practice, I’m trying to bring the calm out of the yoga room and be able to carry it with me. So when the world is frantic around me (or who am I kidding, it’s in me by choice) then I am practicing closing my eyes and blocking everything out and slowing it down in my head like the Matrix.
I don’t know if it’ll work for you, but it can’t hurt. Well, unless your kid is practicing volleyball in the house and you get hit in the face while you’ve got your eyes closed. So don’t do that. 🙂
Here’s one more reason why you should really consider this…. because it affects your income.
If my mind is racing with thoughts and it’s all over the place, I can do low level tasks in my business. I can clean up a document or some spam, or putz around with the widgets on my site.
I can not, however, tap into my zone of genius. For me, that means, I can’t focus and write and be creative or clever. And THAT means that I can’t have the kind of results that I want on my business (my bottom line) or on the kind of impact that I want to have on others (like writing this for you).
So, if you won’t slow your brain down, put down the distractions and practice that inner peace for yourself… Do it for your business/career/education. 🙂
In case you missed it, here’s the getting started page along with the link to day 1:
- Let’s Get Started Here! (Includes printable and the Quick Start Guide to Awesome) – ALSO go to that page if you miss a day. All days will be linked up so you can catch up if needed.
More Fun Things I Love!
Share the love and let me send you money!
Also, if you’re super excited to share this, we do have a referral program where you will earn 75% commission on everyone new that signs up through your special link. To get your link, just go here: Advertise our website to your friends and earn money
Use hashtag #awesomization along with anything you post on your walls along with your affiliate link. I’ll leave the doors open for the first week so that you can all keep sharing and earning from your referrals.