Don’t Be a Busy Fool

5 Easy Actions To Conquer Your ‘Busyness’ and Improve Your Success!

To many of us business owners and leaders, running a business (or a key part of one) means being very busy!

The difference between ‘being busy’ and ‘being busy doing the right things’ can be the difference between success, and unfulfilled dreams, or even worse… failure.

Being busy with the right action is easier said than done, and many bright, hard-working people spend too much time reacting to their business or job.  Proactively taking charge of your time and activities is essential to ensuring that your business and performance stays on track to thrives in a sustainable way.

Please be aware that the impact of ‘busyness’ is bigger than the day to day frustration it might cause you personally.

Think about how any of the below actions are perceived by others around you; customers, suppliers, prospect clients, key business introducers, colleagues, bosses, friends, family.  For example, what does a prospective client or supplier think of you and your business if you don’t put in a brief holding call or email to acknowledge their latest correspondence to you?  Do they feel you respect them and value their business?  In reaction to this, do they respect the quality of your business and your personal values?  Are they more inclined to work with you against the comparative supplier who builds rapport and manages expectations, always asking how they are with a smile, always responding with a 24-hour response rate?

We all have a few poor habits at work. Occasionally you are late for a meeting, forget a meeting or don’t respond to a call or email. You shrug and tell yourself that “these things happen”. However, if they start to happen more often, the odd lapse can soon become a situation where you are regularly late and often noticeably distracted. Soon you are cancelling important meetings due to more urgent meetings and your time is filling up with tasks which you should say no to, or even delegate/outsource.

On the other-hand you might be a successful busy person? You are making money; your business or team makes a profit and grows faster than the average.  Occasionally you have a good life-work balance however because you are good at your business, you are more and more in demand.  You are thus having to make difficult choices between declining new business or spreading yourself too thinly across family, friends, colleagues and your most loyal business customers. The increasing revenue is nice, but you feel more stressed!

The point here is that even if you are busy due to growing success, it can still feel like you are making the wrong choices. Take a few moments to take stock before choosing how you act.

Please read on for five steps which you can implement from hereon to help manage ‘being busy’ in the best way for you and your business ambitions.

  1. Prioritise

Don’t just instantly drop what you are working on when requests for your time and attention come in. Keep stock at the start of each day on what you need to achieve. Factor regular time in your diary to allow space for possible last minute, urgent requests.  Proactively work on items which are important but not urgent during the rest of your time.

  1. Be honest in your communication and manage expectations thoroughly

Don’t agree to take on what you can’t do. Be realistic in telling your customers and contacts what you can do and how you will achieve it with realistic timeframes. Then deliver it to the expected standard without a time pressured panic!

  1. Delegate and surround yourself with a capable, winning and supportive team

With so many online resources available there has never been a better time to take things off your to do list and get them outsourced if you are not ready to afford further full-time employee hire. Look at services like People Per Hour or UpWork to find skilled freelancers who can get the job done with flexibility, affordability and probably in half the time that you could!

Running your own business or a team can feel like you need to be the expert in all areas but you can never know every area in enough depth. Seek out and hire experts in the areas you need to grow your business. You can always ask your trusted contacts for recommendations when hiring or use their expertise, inviting them to sit in on an interview and ask more technical questions on your behalf.

  1. Plan ahead over and over again

This goes hand in hand with point one above. Rather than fire-fighting reactively, go back to your plan and see where you went wrong. Plan again. Make your plans specific with deliverables for all parties involved. Review your success against the plan and see where and why other targets were not met. It is important to be flexible but having a structure that you can use to push forward is key.

  1. Say no

It is easy to feel that saying no means missing out on either current or future business but this comes back to point number 2. Be honest. Thoughtful, deliberate choices through the work that you take on will build your business and solidify your reputation more sustainably into the long term. Often closing one door by saying no, can open another door leading to somewhere that is more successful and profitble than the one you turned down…

I hope you enjoyed reading this, and if so, now is the best possible time to take the advice on board and start some positive changes towards becoming the best you can in business.

Good luck and do let the Fit To Lead team know how you get on.

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