Have you ever caught yourself responding the the “Hey how are you?” with “Good, but so busy!” or just “Really busy”? 🙋♀️Then following up by a conversation complaining with all of the things that are overwhelming you, and maybe even apologizing for all of the things you haven’t gotten to yet, or for not making those plans you were going to months ago? (I know I’ve been guilty of this!)
This is even more prevalent during the holiday season when you throw in holiday parties, events, shopping, decorating and all of those other little things that we add to our already overwhelmed “busy” selves.
BUSY is a Bad Word
We use the B word to justify our actions and feelings, but in all reality it is just a result of poor time management. If you find yourself complaining about being too B-Word to people who are important to you, then you need to apply some time management tricks to your schedule, not just your work schedule but to EVERYTHING you add to your plate.
I know this is easier said that done, so here are a few tips to get started.
Step 1: Remove the B-Word from your Vocabulary
For some reason, we wear the B-Word like a badge of honor. We feel better for being busy, even if it’s not at all productive. We feel super important that so many things are requiring our attention, so dropping a few balls is totally fine because at least you have all those extra balls your were juggling! If one of your friends or family members is one of those dropped balls, it doesn’t feel so good…. so stop hiding behind that B-Word!
Step 2: Time Block Weekly
This topic comes up in our blogs over and over and over again because it is so important to being successful at anything we do. Basic time management can start with a once a week time blocking session. Pick a time of the week where you sit down for 20-30 min to plan out your entire week. If you plan to do it, write it down or enter it into your calendar app (I’m a big fan of google calendar personally). As you say yes to more things make sure to add them in to the calendar. If you said you’d bake cookies for your kids class, block the time to do it so you can see what you had to displace (if anything) to make it happen. I schedule everything from Meal prep, reading, workouts, eating, shopping, project work (I name the project I will be working on at that time so I don’t forget or get distracted), commuting, tv watching, and even downtime. Once it is in my calendar it is all treated as an appointment, even if it is an appointment with myself.
Step 3: Prioritize
Once you have everything in your calendar, you may notice that you do not have enough hours in the day to get it all done. Here is where we have to have those tough conversations with ourselves about what is truly important to us. Be HONEST & REALISTIC with your commitments. Don’t stack 2 tasks/appointments on top of each other in your calendar, odds are neither gets done that way. Workouts/Wellness seem to be the first things that get the cut from calendars (which we for obvious reasons think is problematic with us being a gym and all 🤓).
When you see that you do not have time for whatever it is you need to add, simply
say to yourself out loud “I will not insert activity herebecause it is not a priority to me.” Now sit with that and see how it feels. If you feel ok about it, cool maybe you didn’t need it in your schedule to begin with! If saying that feels crappy and you know you need to do that in order to feel better, take care of yourself, or whatever other reason then you will need to find a space for it in your calendar, which might mean displacing something else. Maybe it was your 4 workouts a week, you said “I will not workout this week because it is not a priority” and that didn’t sit well. Ok then where are 4 hours you can displace? Do you need to go to that Happy Hour? Do you need to make that Target run? Do you need to watch show on netflix? When you find items that really don’t serve you at all, take them out of the schedule!
Pro Tip: Most of us can find a few free hours if we take out the Netflix and Social Media Mindless Scrolling out of our days.
So there you have the first steps to using your time more efficiently, and feeling good about how you spend your time. Feel productive is so much more satisfying that just feeling B-Word!
So go ahead and apply these tips and let us know how it goes! And when Aunt Melicent asks how you are doing, you can say “I’ve had a lot of exciting things going on this year, let me tell you about on or two of them…”
Look at that! You are not to B-Word for meaningful conversation!
Courtney Shoemaker is a Co-Owner of CrossFit Icehouse and Flux, and in charge of the behind the scenes juggling to keep the Icehouse ship sailing smoothly. She is passionate about fitness and identifies as a CrossFitter, Weightlifter, Yogi, Skydiver & overall Shenaniganer.