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How to Sidestep the Trap of Being “Busy”

How many times in the last week have you said, “I’m just so busy”? If you’re like many business owners, you’ve said it a lot. You may say it in response to someone asking you to add another task to your plate or you may exclaim it, in an exasperated tone, as you review your to-do list each day.

Our busyness leads us to feelings of overwhelm and frustration (“How will I possibly get it all done?! It just keeps piling up!”) and may cause many of us to give in to our busyness completely (“I’ll just add to the list and try to get to it tomorrow or the next day… maybe, definitely next week sometimes. And if not then, then definitely two Thursdays from now; I don’t think I have much going on that day yet.”)

The reality is, you’re not really that busy. Before you shout expletives at the screen and say, “How dare you say I’m not busy! Take a look at this to-do list!”, take a deep breath or two and calm down. Get ready for a truth bomb:

Many of us think we’re busy when in reality we just don’t know how to manage our time.

Time-Management vs Purpose Management

This is what gets in the way of productivity. If you’re feeling overwhelmed, it’s impossible to complete the most important items on your list. Every day we’re faced with things that compete for our attention; they scream that they’re the most important task we need to handle and every task begins to feel like an emergency. And, unfortunately, it tends to be the tasks that shout the loudest that steal our focus from the things that really matter. It’s so easy to feel frustrated when our to-do lists continue to grow no matter how hard we work to shorten them. And, the more successful your business becomes, the busier you’ll get. No one’s to-do list just stops growing.

The thing to remember is this: not everything is an emergency and has to get done right away. That’s the trap that many of us fall into. In an effort to clear task after task from the list, it’s normal to begin to deem everything an emergency that needs your attention this instant. But, they don’t really need your attention right now, do they? The world won’t suddenly stop spinning if you move the less important tasks to the bottom of the list so you can focus on the productive tasks that matter.

So, how do you differentiate the productive work from the busy-work?

“Productivity is not time management, it’s purpose management.” – Rachel Hollis

That’s not to say time management isn’t important – time is your most precious resource and it’s absolutely imperative to have control over it. However, what’s more important is purpose management. Purpose management helps you block out the shouts of the unimportant tasks so you can focus on the tasks that matter to your family, your business, and your life overall. These are the tasks that grow your business and enhance your relationships with the people who matter the most.

If you know what your purpose is, make a conscious effort to incorporate it into your daily life. If you’re not sure, take some time to think about it and write it down. Once you know your purpose, hold true to it and absorb it into your core. Then, plan your day around it by pinpointing the top three priorities of the day – circle them, highlight them, whatever works to help them stand out from the rest of the tasks. The point is to work through those three priorities before you even begin to think about tackling the other items on the list. You’ll feel more empowered and in control of how you spend your time.

“Most of us spend too much time on what is urgent and not enough time on what is important.” -Stephen R. Covey

Prioritizing your time

How often does your time get hijacked by so-called emergencies? Any task can be considered urgent, but not every task is important. Unfortunately, many of us spend so much time trying to complete all the tasks we think are urgent that we let everything else go by the wayside. Often, the tasks that are ignored or pushed aside are the ones that are the most important, like daily lead generation. Although you know you need to complete your lead generation every day, it’s often the first thing that gets moved down the list when other tasks pop up that seem more important. However, if you want to lead a growing successful business, lead generation needs to be at the very top of the list. Sure, it may not seem like a big deal to move it down the list; after all, you often don’t recoup the results right away. However, that doesn’t make it any less important. After all, in order to build a solid business, it’s so vital to maintain consistent contact with your prospects and customers, and that means you gotta avoid moving it down the list, even when it’s oh-so-tempting to do so. You may not see the payoff right away, but it will come eventually.

So, what else is important (aside from lead generation, of course)? That’s up to you, but a good rule to go by is this: Anything that is truly important will benefit your family, your business, and your life. This is where the important tasks dovetail with your purpose.

“If you don’t have time to do it right, when will you have time to do it over?” – John Wooden

Building Relationships takes Time

One of the biggest objections to relationship marketing is people feel that it takes up too much time. Building relationships does take time, but the process is so much more fun than having to deal with cold leads from people who don’t know you or badgering your family and friends every time to talk to them into buying out your inventory until they flat-out avoid you, right?

Many of our most successful Teamzy members began their businesses building their networks through traditional sales techniques and alienated many people in the process. Once they began to tap into relationship marketing, they wondered why in the world they even used those awful, icky selling methods in the first place. Often, they realize it’s far more work – that is, more time, more energy, more frustration – to do the traditional sales methods that it does to work relationally.

When you use traditional sales methods, you’re always going back to square one trying to find new customers and prospects to add to your network. Conversely, when you work relationally, you’re constantly building your business and networks with your current relationships. By staying in consistent contact with your network, you build trust. When your customers and prospects know they can rely on you, they’ll buy into your business as well.

Consistently Growing

Now, if you’re just starting out in your business, you have the huge advantage of building your business on the foundation of your relationships right from the get-go. However, if you’ve been in the business for several years and you realize that you want to adopt relationship marketing into your business, all is not lost. You can still do so; the key is to maintain an open mind and build the good habits that will lead to your success, whether it’s more money, a healthier business mindset, etc.

It’s never too late to change your approach to business; however, if you develop the good habits from the jump, then it becomes less work overall to build a successful business.

Controlling Your Time

You become a master of your life when you learn how to control where your attention goes. Value what you give your energy and time to.

This is critical! Busyness is a symptom of having no control over your time and energy, and, as a result, you quickly run out of both time and energy. Value both and you’ll find you have the confidence to control who or what has your attention and focus. You’re able to cut through the nonsense and place the most important tasks first out of respect for yourself, your mindset and your business (not to mention your family and loved ones).

If you’re still unsure how to prioritize your to-do list each day, let Teamzy help! When you sign in, your dashboard will let you know who to contact each and every day based on your business goals. Spend 30 minutes or less working through your list and connecting with your most important customers, prospects, and distributors. It doesn’t matter when you choose to do your daily lead generation; it only matters that it gets done. Many people choose to do it first thing so they can focus on other things that pop up during the day, while others do it at a certain time each day. Go with whatever works for you and the rest will fall into place. Just be sure to login each day and focus on your business for 30 minutes or so. It may not seem like a big deal now, but you’ll be glad you did later on.

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