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How to Let Go of Feeling “Busy”

busy

“I’m SO busy.”

You hear it all the time.

In fact we hear it so much, we should all just assume that everyone is that way and we can all stop saying it.

Because there is a maximum level of busy.

There are only 168 hours in a week, and if every single hour is planned and occupied, then you’ve reached the maximum level of busy.

However, there is no maximum capacity to your mental toughness.

There is no maximum capacity to your peace of mind.

There is no maximum capacity for your ability to handle stress.

Which means that the mental capacity of what you can handle should far exceed the physical and finite time constraints of what you have available in your calendar.

Multipliers seem to have figured out that carrying stress isn’t a necessary prerequisite of having success.

Anxiety isn’t an automatic byproduct of achievement.

And busy isn’t a mandatory requirement of building greatness.

You don’t have to be stressed.

You don’t have to feel anxiety.

You don’t have to feel busy.

Those are all choices that you allow yourself to make.

Those are all emotions that you allow yourself to feel.

But you are bigger than your problems.

You are tougher than your challenges.

And you are stronger than your challenges.

So you can let those feelings die because they aren’t serving you.

You can stop telling yourself that “you’re so busy” because it’s not new information to you that your calendar is full.

And you can stop telling everyone how busy you are so that maybe we all can stop this invisible competition about who has the most going on.

Instead, all of us can move on to getting things done powerfully, productively, and peacefully.

All the while knowing that if we’re working as hard as we can, doing the best we know how to do with what we’ve been given, then no one – including ourselves – can ask us to do anything more.

Letting Go of What Others Think

 

think

So much of the pressure we feel, so much of our stress, is the result of trying to manicure the impression that other people have about us.

We want them to like us.

We want them to respect us.

We want them to think that we are good looking, successful, or important.

Whether it is bosses, friends, clients, and even sometimes strangers that we barely know, these forces have an incredible power over our lives.

While there’s nothing wrong with putting your best foot forward, it can be exhausting and empty to be perpetually trying to impress those people around you.

Because trying to control anything that we don’t have control over is exhausting.

But there is something especially taxing about being concerned with what other people think about us. Because not only do we have to be evaluating whether or not they feel that way or they don’t feel a certain way about us, but then we also expend an extraordinary amount of emotional energy trying to decipher or clarify in our own minds as to why or why not.

This causes us to create theories, invent stories, and to hyper analyze our past experiences with them.

The byproduct of which can sometimes make us feel like they are holding us hostage when in reality it is ourselves holding us hostage.

So instead, what if we just let all that go? What if we refocused the energy that we expend on being concerned with what other people think about us to instead be invested productively into serving others and doing the work that helps us achieve our goals?

What if we trusted that we don’t have to concern ourselves so much with what other people think and allow our work to enable them to create their own informed impressions?

And if self-awareness isn’t enough for you to start letting go, then consider this…

Just as you spend so much time wondering how you appear to others, and what they think of you, realize that they don’t have time to be thinking about you.

Why?

Because like you they are too busy thinking about themselves!

They are thinking about what other people think about them.

You find, as the old saying goes, you stop worrying about what other people think about you when you realize how seldom they actually do.

So let those negative thoughts disappear.

Let those insecurities die.

And let your time to be freed up to focus on other people instead of yourself.

Not only will you find more success, but you will find it coming to you with much less stress.

Managing Stress, Guilt and Overwhelm with Carrie Wilkerson – Episode 165 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

overwhelm

Carrie Wilkerson is a best-selling author, an international speaker, an award-winning podcaster, and a sought-after radio guest. Featured on CNN and Fox Business News and named by Forbes as a top small business influencer, she’s also consulted marketing and launch teams of Dr. John Maxwell, Zig Ziglar, Google small business and other influential business leaders on business strategies and current trends. However, Carrie mostly enjoys helping ordinary people lead extraordinary lives.

Carrie speaks from the experience of a former corporate clock puncher, high school teacher, direct sales representative, growth consultant, and business coach. She got her “big start” in high school bagging groceries for tips only on a military base and now she makes her living by giving tips to over 100,000 men and women as The Barefoot Executive ™. She can help you build the business you need so you can live the life you want by connecting the dots between your WHY and your DO.

Show Highlights:

  • When you physically and emotionally invest in opportunities, that’s when you become ‘lucky’. @CarrieWilkerson
  • Our ego insists that we be available. @CarrieWilkerson
  • Time management is not logical, it is emotional. @rory_vaden
  • I get to define what balance looks like for me. @CarrieWilkerson
  • Comparison will either defeat you or give you false pride. @CarrieWilkerson
  • When people judge you, they are putting you in the context of their own story. @rory_vaden
  • The invisible audience is sabotaging big moves we can make. @CarrieWilkerson
  • One person’s negatively plus our own fear creates the invisible audience. @rory_vaden
  • Define your own picture of success. @rory_vaden
  • We have to believe it in order to fulfil it. @CarrieWilkerson
  • So often the stress and fear we feel is a figment of our imagination. @rory_vaden
  • I will work as fast as I can and as slow as I have to. @rory_vaden

To find more infomation about Carrie and her book, The Barefoot Executive, visit: CarrieWilkerson.com

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Joanne Miller: Creating a Haven of Peace – Episode 153 of The Action Catalyst Podcast

Peace

Joanne Miller is an artist, speaker and author with her newest book, Creating a Haven of Peace, released this month. She married Dan Miller in 1968 and together they run 48 days. Joanne and Dan are great examples of living a peaceful life and having a healthy marriage.

Show Highlights:

  • We live in a world so busy and stress producing – you need a place to go where you can escape the stressors that live outside your home. @48daysteam
  • Your home can and should be a sanctuary. @48daysteam
  • Peace in the home starts with Respect. @48daysteam
  • Difficult times in our lives can be learning experiences if you look at them that way and don’t let them define who you are. @48daysteam
  • We get so involved in the clutter in our lives that we don’t take the time to enjoy our homes. @48daysteam
  • Making time for each other is a key ingredient to a healthy marriage. @48daysteam
  • If you’re stressed, ask yourself, “when was the last time I went to church and exercised?” @rory_vaden
  • Comparison is the thief of joy and creator of mediocrity. @rory_vaden
  • It’s not about beating other people – There is no value in thinking “I’m going to beat somebody else.”  @rory_vaden
  • Our level of peace is direct reflection of how well we are in sync with the people around us. @rory_vaden
  • You don’t want to choose to be right, but to do right. @rory_vaden
  • Admitting wrong was not the same thing as admitting defeat. @rory_vaden

Click Here to learn more about Joanne, her books and for tips on how to create a haven of peace.

The Action Catalyst is a weekly podcast hosted by Rory Vaden of Southwestern Consulting™ every Wednesday. The show is regularly in the Top 25 of Business News Podcasts, has listeners from all around the world and shares “insights and inspiration to help you take action.” Each week Rory shares ideas on how to increase your self-discipline and make better use of your time to help you achieve your goals in life. He also interviews special expert guests and thought leaders. Subscribe on iTunes and please leave a rating and review!

Are You a Prisoner of Productivity Stress?

Productivity Stress

One of the most pervasive, most intense, and most damaging forms of stress comes from thinking about everything we have to do.

Don’t think of everything you have to do. There will always be more to do than you can do.

And thinking about all there possibly is to do doesn’t help you get it done. It doesn’t create more time for you. And it doesn’t enhance your peace of mind.

All it does is create stress.

The associated fantasy of course is that if you make a list of everything there is that you have to do, then you can somehow figure out a way to work hard enough or long enough or smart enough to get it all done.

But haven’t you been doing that already?

Haven’t you been trying that?

Haven’t you been thinking about all the things you need to do?

Haven’t you been making a list like this in your head or on paper somewhere for years?

Haven’t you been working harder and longer than ever before trying to keep up with it all?

If you are like me, then you have. And if you are also like me, then what you have found is that you never catch up to the bottom of that list.

So how well is that strategy really working out for you?

Here’s the important realization you eventually come to: You cannot catch up to the bottom of that list.

Why?

Because as you learn new things, and as you accomplish new things, you begin to have new ideas. You have better ideas. You have bigger ideas.

And that is a good thing because that means you are creating more opportunity for the world around you and that you are making more impact.

But chasing the idea that you will ever be done with your to do list is to chase a finish line that always keeps moving further and further away.

And I’m not so sure that it’d be ultimately satisfying if you did it anyways. Would you be proud of an epitaph that read, “she always had zero emails in her inbox”?

So what should you do instead?

It’s very simple.

Instead of thinking about all of the things that you possibly could be doing …

Instead of thinking about how much there is to do…

Instead of thinking about how little time you have to do it all…

Spend that time thinking about the answer to this question:

“What is the next most significant thing that I could be doing?”

In other words, what is the most critical next step that I can take that will multiply my time?

Knowing of course that you multiply your time by spending time on things today that create more time tomorrow.

The emotional experience will radically change for you.

Instead of feeling the relentless pressure of a box that seems to always be closing in around you as the result of a list of things to do that gets longer and longer with less and less time available to do them…

You instead only focus on one thing. You only think about one thing. The next thing. The most significant thing. The multiplier thing.

And you have as many days as you need to get that next one thing done.

Why?

Because it is that multiplier thing that matters more than any other thing. And so as long as you’re working on that, nothing else matters until you do that thing.

That multiplier thing is the thing that is going to create more results for you tomorrow. More time for you tomorrow.

Your focus and energy and stress then shifts away from all of the things there is to do that you could possibly be doing to instead being locked in on just the next one thing.

That doesn’t mean you’re working any less hard. You’re working just as hard as you ever have been able to. You’re still operating at your highest available capacity and speed.

But the difference is you are just moving all of that focus and energy in one direction and you are not diluting any of it worrying about or even thinking about all of the other things you could be using it on.

And so the only remaining challenge is to keep up with all of your other regular recurring obligations at a basic level so as to not let them fall, but to then use any and all of your other available capacity to focus in on the next most significant thing.

Which is still difficult but it is doable. Because you only have 1 additional project to work on instead of 10,000.

As opposed to the idea of spending your time thinking about all of the possible things you could do and how little time there is to do them.

That seems insurmountable.

That seems impossible.

That creates a wave of heavy impending stress.

Contrast that with focusing in on just the next most significant thing.

That creates clarity.

That creates peace.

That creates a feeling of empowerment.

That initiates focus.

That makes you believe that it’s possible.

And so you do it. You keep all of your other obligations afloat at the basic level and dedicate 100% of any and all extra available time in a harvest season directed at your next most significant thing.

And you stop worrying about anything and everything else because you know that even if you did worry about it or tabulate all of it, it wouldn’t matter anyway.

The Patience Perspective of Great Leaders

Leadership

The more successful you are and the more you learn, the more you will have to live with a constant tension in your life.

That tension is the result of having the gift of seeing the gap between the way things are and the way they should be.

Such foresight is a blessing.

It is rare and it is empowering.

Perhaps it is a foundational element of a great leader.

Yet it can come with tremendous pressure.

It can create stress.

It can drive you to operate with unhealthy speed.

And it can move you to create unfair expectations on yourself and the people around you.

The lure is that if you work fast enough then perhaps one day you can get everything in perfect order and alignment in such a way that you finally feel full peace and contentment.

But that is a deceiving false hope.

First of all, having order in your life is not the ultimate source of peace and so if that is where you are looking for it then know now that you will never find it.

The reality is that for someone with this ability to see the world around them as a better place, your work will never be done.

Each project you complete will reveal to you what the next one is that is worthy of your talents.

And so there is no invisible finish line; there are only checkpoints. There are milestones.

That does not mean that your toil is not worthwhile. On the contrary it very much is.

What it does mean is that sometimes you have to give yourself the permission to slow down.

Sometimes you have to give yourself the grace of allowing things to be incomplete.

Sometimes you have to give yourself the forgiveness for certain things to be imperfect.

Because to you, the person with that special gift, they will always be that way.

You will work hard. You will work steadily. You will work consistently.

But you won’t work so much and so fast that you burn yourself out and all of the people around you.

It’s like the Navy seals say, “Fast isn’t fast. Steady is fast.”

Being able to see how things should be doesn’t mean that they’re currently wrong and it doesn’t mean that they all have to be changed immediately.

It just means you’re a visionary.

You’re a leader.

You have a gift.

And if you develop the discipline to be patient and you find the faith to be content all the while you commit to making steady consistent improvements…

You will get there eventually. And you will take others with you.