Is It Time to Bust Loose from the Busy Game?

How many times did you say to someone this week “Wow, I’m too busy for [fill in the blank.]” Or maybe you didn’t say it out loud but inside your own mind you had a super long list of things you needed to accomplish and places you had committed to being at, it brought up a lot of stress! Not to mention that you never quite had time for the most important growth activities that you want to fit in.

I don’t know about you but when I started my own business I wanted more time freedom.

I had a vision of working no more than 4 days a week, making an easy six figures and helping a lot of people in the process. Have I always been able to do this? Sometimes yes, sometimes no. But there have been two significant pivot points in my life where I knew something had to change. I was way too busy doing things that weren’t really moving the needle — and I didn’t have time for what felt REALLY important.

I’ve noticed though that very few entrepreneurs really live that “time freedom” dream. As a matter of fact, it seems that for many business owners, the more money they make the busier they get.

Isn’t it a little disturbing to you that you own your own business and yet you are just as busy (and perhaps more so) as when you had a J.O.B.?

Now I’m not saying that you should be able to experience HUGE amounts of wealth and achievement without work. But I’m a deeply curious person so I often wonder….

What if being busy is just a fancy smoke screen we create to avoid the real success we crave?

Think about it.

What are you really so busy doing?

And are you really being productive or is your day just filled up with a lot of things you think you should do in order to get ahead?

What if you knew that it’s possible to be successful without being so busy?

Would you be up for it?

Just now you either said: “Heck ya!” or “That’s impossible.”

Here’s the truth. Some people use being busy to avoid something they don’t want to deal with. Busy is NOT a productive state. Busy is energetically draining. Busy is limiting. Busy is un-fulfilling. Busy is overwhelming. Busy is often when mistakes are made and opportunities are missed. Being busier is NOT the dream. Its an illusion that you are accomplishing things when really, you are just in motion.

So how did I shift it? First off, I had to shift my paradigm and really get that I was creating a perpetually busy business because I had fears about my business. I took a step back and challenged my current priorities and cleared away what was no longer aligned. I closed a coaching program that took 20% of my time but didn’t attract my favorite clients. I started saying NO to opportunities that on the surface sounded exciting but I felt that twinge of “will this really align with my goals?”

When you bust loose from the busy game you shift your paradigm. You make a decision that you will create success differently than your peers (and maybe even your mentors.) You claim a new way of life – success through focused, productive activities that are completely aligned with your big brilliant business idea.

Here are some of questions to challenge your thinking and bust loose from the busy game:


1. Do I really have to do this or can someone else?

2. Is there a more streamlined way of accomplishing this objective?

3. If I wasn’t doing X, what would I be doing that is more aligned?

4. What would I have to give up believing is true to shift my experience of always being too busy?

5. What would I have to do differently to have more time for non-business priorities?

Being busy isn’t the goal my friend. Being successful is. So if you define successful as being busy then great, congratulations. But my guess is that success is more than that to you.

If busting loose from the busy game is an inspiring thought to you then here is an invitation to take two steps with me:

First…

Make a decision today to shift your next 12 months into being focused, aligned and connected to your highest payoff activities.

Second…

Decide to redesign your business around the bold goals that you’v been thinking about for awhile, but never seem to have time to pull off. It’s OK to let go of all the shoulds to make room for the dream.

Ready to bust loose? Here’s a third option. Clear out the beliefs and mindset that causes you to stay busy. One of the best places to start is right here with this FREE Quiz, Hidden Profit Drains. In this super fast quiz, I’ll ask you a few questions to help identify if you have any sneaky mindset barriers keeping you plugged in to overwhelm, stress and being WAY too busy. If you can identify what’s influencing your behavior, then you’ll be able to shift your actions into a more productive ones.

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5 Comments

  • simon smith

    December 23, 2010

    Well put, a great reminder at the end of the year to start as we mean to go on. I’ll definitely be thinking and looking more closely at the things I do to be productive vs busy!
    many thanks

  • Patrick Dominguez

    December 28, 2010

    Great article Mel, it’s so true that being busy all the time is itself a game we play. (Or decide not to play)

    Love the 5 questions, great way to challenge limiting beliefs about time.

    Cheers,
    Patrick

  • Susan Mazza

    July 30, 2019

    Fantastic article Melanie! As an entrepreneur I too have been working towards time freedom as you put it.

    I also think there is a lot of social pressure to be busy, because what does it mean when we aren’t busy…that we are lazy?, not successful?, or ??? And being busy has become a socially acceptable excuse to use when we don’t want to participate in or do something when we are asked.

    I’d love to hear your wisdom on how to say no when you feel compelled to use the busy excuse?

    • Melanie Benson Team

      August 1, 2019

      Susan, you bring up so many great points! I’ll have to create an Amplify Your Success Podcasts episode on how to say “no” when feeling compelled to say “I’m busy.” It does take a lot of inner awareness to know the difference. Thanks for your input Susan! MB