Too Busy? Too Scared Is More Like It.

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I know the feeling.

You’re rushing around answering a never-ending stream of emails and finishing up some last-minute details for a client before sprinting out the door. For the next few hours, you hurriedly shuttle around town running errands, while shoveling spoonfuls of macaroni and cheese into your mouth behind the wheel of your car.

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 You’re in a constant state of mild panic. You know that caring for your blog, being active on social media and streamlining your business is important, but now is NOT the time you want to   hear me tell you that. Heck, you’re probably even thinking that you’re too busy to read this right now.

 Yup, it sounds like you’re stuck in the “I don’t have time” abyss. I’ve been there, and if you’re anything like many business owners I talk to, you go there at least once a month, if not more.

 If that’s where you are right now, I challenge you to clear some space for just 5 minutes to hear me out:

 The “Don’t Have Time” suck? It’s a big, fat MYTH.

 Nope, the problem isn’t not enough time here. In fact, here are the things you’re REALLY saying when you say “I don’t have time:”

“I’m Not Making It A Priority”

When you get trapped in the cycle of Busy, it’s hard to notice that you’re actually choosing how to divvy up your time.

And often, business owners stuck in the “I don’t have time” trap choose to spend their time on the day-to-day activity that – you think – keeps your business moving.

This includes putting out minor fires, small tweaks to your website that you just can’t stop making, emails you feel compelled to respond to immediately, and those pesky administrative tasks that somehow wind up swallowing hours of your day.

Sure, this kind of stuff feels productive, but if you’re not careful, whole days can go by when your head’s down, submerged in activities. When you finally come up for air, you might realize that you haven’t taken ANY time to think about those bigger goals you have to improve your business.

Rather than putting your email inbox over your income goals, break the cycle by focusing on filling your day with action rather than activity.

Action is challenging and doesn’t always come with that immediate sense of accomplishment (like the one that comes every time you cross something off your to-do list). But don’t let this deceive you – action is how you’re going to achieve your biggest goals..

When you focus on action items – like making big marketing changes, developing a new product or service, or investing in a new hire – you’re making long-term changes that have the potential to blow the roof off your business.

“I Don’t Want To”

There’s nothing wrong with skipping out on certain activities because you just don’t want to do them. But stop convincing yourself that the reason you’re not doing them is for lack of time.

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If you have a nagging task that gives you seriously bad vibes every time you think about it, there’s a good chance that it’s going to take more than just clearing room on your schedule to get it done. Consider if the reason you’ve been putting it off is because you just plain don’t want to do it.

Once you get clear on whether or not the item on your list is something you actually even want for you and your business, you’ll find that you’re much more encouraged to either tackle it right away or drop it off your list FOREVER. And that feels SO much better than guiltily avoiding the topic or stressing yourself out by saying you don’t have enough time.

(Note that this doesn’t actually apply to things like paying your bills and brushing your teeth – sorry!)

“I’m Terrified”

This one might have you confused, but it’s more common than you think. Being busy is a lot easier to deal with than being scared – and it sounds a heck of a lot better, too.

When you put off a project, an idea, or a decision that could produce BIG changes for you and your business, ask yourself what’s really going on. Are you filling your day with activities that feel productive (but aren’t life-changing for you or your biz) in order to avoid making the big actions you need to produce serious results?

“Too busy” is a clever excuse for when you’re scared to make a big change. “Too busy” is a circumstance that feels out of your hands. “Too busy” will elicit a ton of understanding and sympathetic pats on the back from your friends, family, and peers that help keep you solidly standing still.

Plus, when you’re too busy to do something new and scary, you’re too busy to fall flat on your face trying.

Realizing that you’re actually just scared means you’ll have to face your fear. “Too scared” means you’ll finally have to admit whether or not it’s YOU that’s holding you back from your goals.

Take that BIG action item on your list and ask yourself are you REALLY too busy to handle it or are you in fear of it?

Then, face your fear and knock that sucker off your list for good.

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About Laura Roeder

Laura Roeder is a social media marketing expert who gives businesses of all sizes the tools they need to make their mark on the web. She is the creator of the social media scheduling software Edgar, as well as social media marketing web courses like Creating Fame and Social Brilliant.

Comments

  1. This is a kick in the butt we all need from time to time. I don’t think I’ll ever stop being terrified. There’s always something new and scary to take on, but the feeling of accomplishment and getting results is totally worth it.

  2. Benin Brown says:

    Totally agree with you. I think your quote says it all.

    Nope, the problem isn’t not enough time here. In fact, here are the things you’re REALLY saying when you say “I don’t have time:”

    “I’m Not Making It A Priority”
    When you get trapped in the cycle of Busy, it’s hard to notice that you’re actually choosing how to divvy up your time.

    But you know what’s interesting? The cousin of the “I’m too busy” excuse, is the “it must be absolutely 100% perfect or I can’t do it” excuse.

    As a matter of fact, I can think of no place where the old adage, “perfect is the enemy of good” more applicable than building one’s business online because things will never be perfect.

    Thanks for sharing another common sense post, Laura!

  3. You’re right! When I feel I’m too busy these are frequently the real feelings behind the statement. Frequently when I’ve got a task to do but I’m nervous about getting it done because I’m not quit sure about it, I feel totally overwhelmed and busy with everything else. Eventually I just give in and sit down and get that daunting task out of the way. It usually ends up not being as bad as I had anticipated. Each time I think, I’ll just do it sooner next time. Not sure why we put ourselves through all the stress.

  4. So True! Something that I know I personally battle on a daily basis. Having a To Do list and tackling the items I don’t want to do- first thing in the morning helps a lot. This way I’m too tired to realize I’m doing something I hate and I can’t stress about it all day.

  5. Great advice. I think I might be using the “too busy” excuse to avoid a lot of things. Thanks for making me realize! .

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