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    Ditch the Busy, Find Your Joy
    The Vault

    Ditch the Busy, Find Your Joy

    May 2016

    “Sorry, can’t, too busy.”  

    Are these words constantly coming out of your mouth?  Is every waking hour spoken for with meetings and minutiae?  

    Being busy isn’t a minor problem.  A recent study by Stanford University concluded that people who spent their time busy with the wrong things were fundamentally less happy than those who focused on less -- but more meaningful -- activities.  Having zero time for yourself is making you miserable, and science can prove it.

    It’s so easy to fill up our days, isn’t it?  Going through the (million) motions is easier than deliberately thinking about why we are doing what we’re doing.  But our time is important, and it’s time to treat it that way.  

    Business owners should pay particular attention to this, because maintaining a “happy” workforce (employees who are content with their jobs and therefore stay with us) is essential to our success.  As we do for ourselves, we need to create opportunities for our employees to manage their own time -- with flexible hours, telecommuting, independent contractor relationships, and other innovative ideas (hint: Millennials are really concerned about this).  

    Are you ready to achieve more and feel less frazzled?  Here is what you must do:

    Put Yourself in Time Out

    Hit the pause button on your life and sit still for awhile (I know this is hard). Truly think about how you are choosing to spend each day. Are you using busywork to escape or avoid something? What would you achieve if nothing were standing in your way?  Are you really happy? What would bring you more happiness?

    Write Down Your Goals

    Now that you some have clarity and breathing room, document your goals in order of their importance. Next, make a plan for how you are going to achieve those goals. Seemingly insurmountable goals become manageable when you break down the steps necessary to achieve them.

    Clear Your Schedule

    Now comes the hard part.  Cancel whatever is unnecessary or taking you away from what you want to accomplish. This is difficult because it will require you tell people "no" and/or explain how and why your priorities have changed.  Take a deep breath.  You’ll get through this!


    Make steady, incremental progress toward your goals each day, and celebrate each milestone that you achieve. Stick with your plan, and you’ll soon be knocking out more meaningful work (and accomplishing more) than you ever thought possible.

    Periodically Check Yourself

    Over time, you may tempted to fall back into your old busy ways, but you cannot forget the commitment that you made to yourself.  Constantly visualize what it will feel like to reach your goals, and make sure that you are not allowing meaningless activities and distractions to creep back into your schedule and steal your time.

    Busyness kills achievement.  Do not allow it to keep you from finding your real purpose.  Your time belongs to you. Protect it!


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