There’s a difference between being busy and running around like your hair’s on fire! We often confuse the two, thinking that if we are really, really busy it must mean we are getting things done. Additionally, we often think if we are busy it must mean we are effective.
So, that brings us to the real question, “Are you being effective?” My clients often say something along these lines, “I have such a long to-do list and I’m busy all day long and I get to the end of the day and I can’t even tell you what I’ve done and my list is even longer than when I started the day.” Notice that it’s presented as one, long run-on sentence and they really are perplexed.
If you are busy, busy, busy and yet not moving forward it’s time to look at where the breakdown is occurring. This could apply in either your personal or business life. Did you relate to the title of running around like your hair’s on fire? If so, let’s talk.
One way to tell if you are simply running around, yet not being effective is you will feel increased anxiety, frustration, and/or confusion. It makes no sense to you that you are a smart person and yet cannot for the life of you figure out how to get things done without more things popping up, kind of like whack-a-mole.
Stop, pause, get focused. I know that those three things could be used interchangeably, but stopping isn’t enough. Stopping is only the first step. Then pause, step back and see what needs to be done. Finally, get focused and create a plan.
Try these 5 tips to become more focused and effective
- Can things be grouped together? Put “like” things together and see if any of those can either be done together or be delegated.
- What are the three most impactful things you could do? Do those!
- Notice what triggers your feeling of running around like your hair’s on fire. There will be a common thread to them. Discover what that thread is. It’s much easier to take action when you know what you’re taking action on.
- If you do not complete any of your top three items, move those into your calendar to complete tomorrow. This is also the time to re-assess, is it really one of your top three, most impactful actions to do?
- What do you really want to do?
When do you run around like your hair’s on fire without being effective? How frustrated are you with your current modus operandi? What have you done to try and figure out a different way of operating? How has that worked? Leave your comments below.