My unpopular opinion on being busy

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I feel as if this topic keeps coming up, especially as we head into the holiday season. We’re all being pulled in a ton of different directions and we’re unsure of how to balance it all. Worse yet, we worry that if we’re not busy enough – we’re not doing enough.

Here’s the deal, my friend. Busy DOES NOT equal productive. I was chatting with another online business owner this week and she mentioned that she hates when people tell her they don’t have the time to implement the strategies she teaches. Mind you, these strategies could be business game-changers, but we’re all “too busy” doing whatever else we think it is we should be doing.

First, let me tell you why I think I’m qualified to have this conversation with you.

1 – I have a toddler and a 13 year old and a (really awesome) husband

2 – I work full-time

3 – I am growing a business alongside my full time job

4 – I volunteer at my church (twice a week) and participate in a small group once a week

5 – I do 2-4 wine tastings a month as an Independent Wine Consultant with Wine Shop At Home

6 – I lead a women’s networking group and actively participate in 2 others

I don’t tell you to this to brag or for any kind of support/sympathy/encouragement, etc. I tell you this because busy is relative. Busy is what we make of it. And busy is NOT always productive.

A few years ago I tried to stop telling people I was “busy” as a response to questions like “how are you?” or “what have you been up to?” Truth is, friend, no one cares. You know those people that try to “one-up” your business, like it’s a competition? It just all feels yucky and gives busy people this badge of honor because they’re….busy.

Busy isn’t always productive.

Sometime we’re just doing things to do them. We’re checking tasks off of lists. We’re updating our website one more time, editing our latest landing page, and make sure our weekly email is ready to go out. We’re writing blog after blog or writing another social media post that we may or may not post. We’re filling our time – but we’re not getting anything out of it.

I am NOT saying that these tasks are important tasks. If you checked all of those tasks off of your list, you might think you had a pretty productive day, right?! Here’s the follow up question (and one that might make me unpopular)…are any of those tasks actively making you money?

Yep, I said it.

Is the busy work in your business making you any money?!!

I know, I know. You’re going to argue that the social media, the landing pages, the blogs are NECESSARY to your business. You’re going to tell me that this is how you get and stay visible online. You’re doing to tell me that these are things you HAVE to do.

Here’s another question, that is likely to going to make me unpopular, are you doing these tasks because you feel like you HAVE to? Because someone told you this was the way to success? Because you feel obligated to some self imposed deadline?! Final question – are you doing these things to fill the time, because you’re afraid of actually taking real, money making action?!

Be honest with yourself here.

I write a blog every single week. At this point in my business, it does NOT actively make me money. So why am I wasting precious time writing it?! Because my blog is the part of my website that gets the most traffic. Because my blog gets my social media posts shared far and wide and because it starts conversations. At some point – that MIGHT make me money. So I do it.

I also do it because I am the ONLY person that can.  I cannot outsource my blog, because it’s MY opinion. Mine. And mine alone.

I outsource my social media. I outsourced an email project a few weeks ago. I’m looking at different options for Pinterest. I will likely hire someone to download my videos from Facebook, edit them, and upload them to YouTube.

Are these tasks that I can do? Yes, of course. Are these tasks that are actively making me money? Nope, not right now.

Another (unpopular) confession – I pay someone to clean my house once a month. I shouldn’t, but I do. I sacrifice in other ways for this luxury. I gave up manicures. I stopped eating lunch out. I switched from designer to drugstore brand makeup (gasp!). Because – my time is so much more valuable than any of those things.

Your time is your most valuable asset.

Have you ever stopped to think about that?

While you’re talking to your friends about how busy you are? While you’re scrolling through Facebook or binge watching Netflix? While you’re sitting on your couch drinking wine?

Every time you get asked to do something, take on a new project, get invited to a party or a networking event – is this worth your TIME?

Here’s the deal – the wine + Netflix time is 110% worth the time sometimes. You need time to rest and recharge. You cannot run on empty.

Your time, like most things, is a choice. What are you choosing to spend your time on? What can you outsource, that’s not helping you get closer to your goals or isn’t worth your most precious asset?

And please, please stop answering “how are you?!” with “busy…”

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