Posts tagged: busyness

Stepping Out of the ‘Do-Do’ Part #3

By , March 30, 2010 12:22 am

forget everything and runNote: This is Part 3 of a mini-series.To read Part 1, click here. To read Part 2, click here.

Not ‘Do-Do’ but ‘Think-Do.’

When Busy-ness and overwhelm takes over it’s easy to forget how to think. We become driven by doing and we get hooked into trying to do everything!

We also feel that we should be able to do everything!

Focusing on doing rather than thinking stops us from asking ourselves why we are struggling or how we could do it differently. We dis-engage our logical thinking processes.

Getting stuck in the Do-Do is often driven by one of our strongest and most hardwired emotions: fear. This is a key driver of living reactively.

  • Fear of getting it wrong
  • Fear of criticism
  • Fear of letting others down
  • Fear of not being able to do it all
  • Fear of being unworthy
  • Fear of not living up to our own or others expectations of us
  • Fear of being seen as a ‘fraud’
  • Fear of saying NO

Fear overrides our thinking and our ability to be realistic about what we are able to achieve. Our emotions take over and run the show. Logical and rational thinking is replaced by chaos, desperation and overwhelm.

There is a difference between just doing things (unconscious action) and taking conscious action. Conscious action is where are activities are defined, deliberate and purposeful. Actions are realistic and do-able.

Here are some strategies to help your thinking:

1. Address your fears head on

“Fear of failure is actually overrated as an excuse.”

Seth Godin, Author, Tribes

People are usually more frightened of blame and criticism than failure. The fear of criticism can be a powerful deterrent, and the criticism doesn’t have to happen for fear to set in.

  • list the fears associated with YOUR busy-ness.
  • re-read this list and view them objectively as if  this was your best friend’s list and you were giving advice to him/her
  • what is the worst thing that could happen here?
  • write down exactly what you need to accomplish in the coming week. This helps you to re-focus and re-awaken your logical thinking

2. ‘Think’ before you ‘Do’

For example, in our working life it is easy to forget that we are paid to think as well as do. Why? Because doing is the tangible action stuff. Thinking can be seen as non-action and lazy. So it is seen as a nice thing to do, if I have the time!

Thinking and planning a head is SO under-rated because of the illusion that in the time I have to think about it, I could have done it! It’s not perceived as productive. Instead we panic and the action we take is random, unplanned and unfocused.

Here are four practical self-management tips. You already know these, BUT do you actually use them?

  1. To-Do Lists – to write down the tasks that have to be done
  2. Prioritize –This focuses on two elements: 1) relationships and 2) results. It helps you to stay On Purpose. What are the 1-2 important things that you need to focus your time on today? Small home runs will help you to experience how good it feels to complete something. This includes scheduling some time for me! See Circuit Breakers.
  3. Diaries and schedules – to plan in what I have to do and when I’m going to do it. This activity can stop procrastination by chunking down large overwhelming tasks into small do-able actions. Give each action a time e.g. 10am – 11 am. Show up at 10am, set a timer and just do it!
  4. Be imperfect – Flexibility is the key. Be prepared to re-prioritize and don’t expect perfection EVERY day. If you are a perfectionist, then these tools can restrict you because you can feel over-scheduled and rigid. You are not a robot! Priorities change so allow flexiability – it’s okay!

How much time do you actually spend thinking, planning and writing down your activities before you do them?

Value the importance of Thinking as well as Doing.

Want some more techniques? Why not download my FREE GIFT on the right of this page:‘Are You In Busy-ness or Business? Four Ways to Get Your Life Back on Purpose.’ This download will really help you think and do!

Stepping Out of the ‘Do-Do’ – Part #2

By , March 23, 2010 12:28 am


Note: This is Part 2 of a mini-series. To read Part 1, click here.

Living reactively is exhausting because you are constantly living in chaos and waiting for the next crisis to happen.

Here’s how this used to be for me:

The yammering voices in my head never stopped telling me what I must, ought or should be doing. They made me work longer hours. Sometimes they’d wake me in the middle of the night to remind me about something I’ve forgotten to do or to give me something else to worry about. Sometimes as I woke up the next morning I’d get a flat feeling as all my to-do’s rushed through the mental fog to great my consciousness. I’d begin my day by freaking out over my workloads before I got out of bed!

I’d get more tired and desperate to succeed as I ignored self care and continued to push my body to the limits by working all hours. My energy tanks were emptying quickly and I wasn’t replacing them. There got to a point where I was living on ’empty.’

That’s when I realised that I’d reached overwhelm.

Energy is our life force!

Here’s a good place to begin…

1. Listen to your body!

I worked with a coach who once asked me two important questions:

  1. Are you tired?
  2. Are you hungry?


What did this have to do with anything?

“I haven’t got time to focus energy on this because I’ve already got too much to do. Don’t give me more to think about!”

It had EVERYTHING to do with how I had unconsciously allowed myself to become exhausted and overwhelmed!

Sleeping and eating are usually the first things to suffer when we get sucked into the ‘Do-Do.’ Busy-ness loves it when you’re hungry and tired. We get locked into doing and forget to eat and sleep properly under the false illusion of saving time to get more things done!

We ignore the signals from our body and wonder why we are so tired, emotional and overwhelmed.

Short-term this is okay because our bodies are very forgiving and have an amazing ability to heal.

If this continues, exhaustion gets a tighter grip because we are physically and mentally weaker. It’s harder for us to concentrate and to be effective.

Listen to the signals from your body. Your body is VERY wise.

Important Note: You can’t complete your To Do list if you don’t have a body!

2. Slow down and allow time away from the ‘Do-Do.’

Okay…the last thing you instinctively want to do is to slow down! You haven’t got time to slow down because you’ve got too much stuff to do right?

The first thing that you need to do is to restore your energy. You can only do this by slowing down and resting. It is not easy to do especially if you are so used to living at a constantly reactive pace.

I started by introducing a few Circuit Breakers into my daily life. These really helped restore my energy and focus.

Here are some examples of Circuit Breakers:

  1. Close your laptop, turn off your phone and physically walk away for 30 minutes!
  2. Finish work on time at least one or two nights a week
  3. Go to bed before 9.30 pm at least one night a week
  4. Take a proper lunch break
  5. Eat regularly (and not just when you remember to!)
  6. Eat healthy food – not junk that fills you up with sugar and fat
  7. Drink plenty of water throughout the day (most people don’t drink enough water)

Try one or more of these activities as evening or weekend Circuit Breakers:

  1. Take a nap when you feel tired (listen to your body!)
  2. Have a relaxing long bath
  3. Go for a walk
  4. Read something funny or light
  5. Sleep in
  6. Sit quietly and do nothing for 15 minutes (Really…it’s okay to do this!)
  7. Listen to some uplifting music
  8. Allow yourself a ‘Day off the Do-Do’ one day a week

I’ve just added a Free Gift on my website! You can download the recording of my awesome tele-seminar: ‘Are You in Business or Busy-ness? Four Ways to Get Your Life Back on Purpose.’ This is packed with extra tips. Check out the box at the top right hand corner of this page.

Stepping out of the ‘Do-Do’ – Part #1

By , March 16, 2010 3:29 pm


Jennifer, one of my coaching clients, explained recently that she was tired of not having any time for herself. She enjoyed her job and wanted to be successful. But, she had started to realise that being successful came at a price: an extended working week that never seemed to stop! She was reacting to her ever increasing workload and having to work longer hours to get things done. Just when she was getting on top of things her employers would come a long with even more projects to do!

She felt tired, frustrated with her life and out of control.

I have also experienced this in my life. My old philosophy of success (and the philosophy of the company I worked for at the time) was: ‘the longer I worked, the more successful I would be.’


“Most cultures tend to reward people for personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.”

Tim Ferriss, Author of, The 4 Hour Work Week

I worked extremely long hours in the belief that my superiors would recognise my sacrifice, value my effort and promote me. This philosophy left little time for me, my relationships or my health. They all suffered as a consequence. In fact I started to repel success rather than attract it!

I worked an insane schedule fueled by my need to be successful. I was unconsciously locked into this cycle and could not see a way out, because I was frightened of becoming a failure.

May be you can relate to this?

It’s much easier for us to say ‘Yes’ to more work because we:

  • don’t want to let others down
  • think that this is what is expected of us
  • don’t want them to think that we are not up to the job
  • don’t want to fail

It’s easy to get lost in doing rather than living, our boundaries dissolve and we sacrifice our own values in the process. Our lives become totally reactive as we move from one deadline to the next trying to balance everything and survive.

I call this living in the ‘Do-Do.’

Here’s the thing… life doesn’t have to be reactive. You can take the control back and learn how to Live on Purpose.

The first step is to recognise if you are currently living a reactive life. Are you stuck in the ‘Do-Do’ like Jennifer?

Then you have a choice to make:

  1. To continue reacting and rushing around in chaos feeling out of control
  2. To consciously learn how to be proactive and change the way that you approach the busy-ness in your life.


You decide…

The next blog post will share some practical techniques on how you can begin to Step Out of the ‘Do-Do’ of reactivity and tackle Busy-ness head on!

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