I remember on a previous visit to Memphis, TN to visit my family, I was talking to my grandmother, Willie Mae Gray, about the idea of being busy. Of course, she had asked me how things were going with me and I had responded with what I most often say religiously, “staying busy.” Her simple, yet candid description of a busy person blew me away and has since stuck with me to this day.
If I may paraphrase, she referred to being “busy” as
"...being everywhere but not going anywhere at the same time."
This minimal yet powerful statement intrigued me in such a profound way that I had to assess some things about myself.
In America, our cultural has sensationalized and become obsessed with the idea of being busy. I believe a lot of people, particularly us Millennials, fall victim to this crazy notion that being “busy” is something of value, reputable status, or high achievement. I fall victim to this a lot myself. The "I'm too busy" complex, where we get involved in everything, say "yes" to anything, and don’t have time for nothing. We brag about it, wear it with as a badge of honor, and minimize folks who have too much time, with sayings like, “I don’t get tired,” or “I’ll sleep when I’m 6ft.” First of all, sleep deprivation is a quicker way to get "6ft deep", so we're only hurting ourselves. And too, I love my “Zzz’s”, they are hard to come by these days. LOL
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying that hardwork and having your grind is not good. In fact, studies show that the most successful individuals own multiple streams of income that they manage and invest in. However, I DO believe that busyness does not always equate to productivity or profitability. And I have to admit, I often feel as though I do sooooo much work and yet feel I haven't accomplish anything of importance.
Forbes published a very helpful article earlier this year that gave me effective ways to help break free from the “busy” lifestyle. I thought I also might share few tips that have helped me personally to counter the self-inflicted chaos I choose to pick up everyday. And you know what, I am sure so many of my other fellow young leaders and entrepreneurs struggle with this same conundrum on a daily as I do.
Here are my top 4 ways to counter the ‘busyness syndrome’.
So in closing I hope that some of these tips that I’ve discussed can help you as much as they are currently helping me in countering the cycle of creating chaos and busyness for myself at the expense of myself. Please, feel free to comment below and let me know what struggles you have with productivity and or tips you may have to give to other entrepreneurs about productivity hacks.
- Raechele Gray