I’m guessing you probably feel busier than ever. Almost everyone I speak to says they do. We were dealing never-ending list of responsibilities in our personal and professional lives before Covid Chapter of 2020-2021, and now it’s even more complicated and intense.
So, here’s the question: why do you feel so busy?
I would like to say there are three big reasons
You Don’t Turn Off Anymore
The uncertainty of tomorrow has forced all of us into a state of constant mental chaos, asking questions for which there are no clear answers and having to change plans regularly. The mental load you carry as a result means it’s hard to turn off your brain or get away from the many questions and the changing landscape. Even if you’re not working as many hours as you were a year ago, your mind is always working. And when your mind is always working, you’re working.
The Office Has No Walls
When some of us where starting off in our careers we dreamed of a corner office with large windows and of course walls. No more cubicles or desks out in the open. But no matter our rank, in reality right now, none of us have an office with walls.
The working from home shift has significantly disrupted the boundaries between work and life in a profound way. Kitchen and Dining room tables have become “the office” and the first and last thing you glance at every morning and night. But long before the pandemic, your pocket was probably increasingly becoming your office anyway. You used to go to the office, but technology made it possible for the office to come to you. Between your laptop, tablet, and phone, work follows you everywhere. It’s a constant feeling of “your work is never really done”. People are constantly saying they are “feeling like they’re never really on and never really off.” Sadly, in fact, tragically, they are correct.
Multi-tasking has become a “Gospel”
A few days ago a colleague was sharing how many “platforms” he was on for his business. It seemed his day was constantly checking email, reviewing twitter trends, ensuring his Instagram was up to date, friending on Facebook, listing on LinkedIn, toggling projects on Slack and pausing to answer texts and take phone calls. He then said “I actually don’t seem to get any work done.”
I think all of us have had days when we have put in eight or ten hours and feel like we have not accomplished anything. Or days when we look up at the clock and want to yell “Liar” when it tells us that the day is almost over, and our in box seems more like a colony of multiplying rabbits.
The sad thing about this, besides the fact that all of us know its happening, is that we have accepted it. Multi-tasking has become a way of life. But “the vaccine” for this is to create deep periods of uninterrupted focus in your day. “The Power of Full Engagement” was a game changer for me when I read it. Our brains need to focus to produce quality work. I know it’s taken me some time, but it has meant time-blocked space in my calendar where my notifications are off and I accept no or very few interruptions. I make an appointment with "me" and I keep it.
What Should You Do?
So now comes the point in this article where many of are saying “Amen”, or “I hear you”, or “Been there, doing that, living the nightmare”. Obviously, we don’t want to, but we get drawn into it again and again.
There are some strategies I’ve found that have helped me greatly and helped many others. No they are not “gimmicks”, or “magic beans”, they are actually things I use, and others do, to help ease the reality we are engaging, and yet enjoy the life we can be living.
If you’re looking for a solution to chronic busyness and stress, let me invite you to sign up for my email list today.
I am also going to be offering opportunities on how to become more productive and a chance to join a live coaching call with me and my “Phoenix Family”. It will be about joining others who will all be focusing on getting more productive all week, dealing with stress, anxiety and balance. Its time to get “unstuck” and know the “success” of a healthy work life, and having a real life too.
Make It So!