We’ve all experienced that feeling of being “too busy”. When you feel like you have so much to do and never get a break. Or maybe you feel like you’re a slave to your customers or clients and don’t have time to work on the things you want to do.
I’ve certainly been feeling this a lot recently.
As my consulting business has taken off and I’ve become more well known online, my calendar is booked up with client calls and introductory meetings.
Don’t get me wrong. This is a good thing and I’d rather have too many rather than too few clients.
However, as I’ve slowly become a victim of my own success, I feel like I’m trapped by my calendar and often don’t have enough time to work on non-client projects. It can be frustrating. I want to work on my business (and less in my business). I want to make products and produce content. But client work takes up almost all of my time.
And I have to prioritise the client stuff because this is where the majority of my income comes from.
So, with this in mind, I’ve been thinking about how to take back control of my calendar and deal with this issue of being “too busy”.
Protect your time
A little while ago I wrote about how I use Calendly to run my business. Calendly is an awesome tool for scheduling meetings and client calls. But if you’re not careful, it’s very easy to get overbooked and your days fill up with back to back calls.
I’ve now revised my Calendly settings and reduce the hours I’m available during the day. I’m also including more times for breaks so I can’t be scheduled back to back.
I also have Wednesday’s completely blocked out so I can’t be booked at all. This is my time for working on the business, products, content and non-client project. The issue I have is that because my calendar is so full, clients ask if I have any other available times. And because I want to please people, I end up giving people slots of time on Wednesday’s when I should be keeping this time for myself.Protect your time. It's easy to over-commit and become a slave to your calendar, clients and boss. Make sure you set aside time for yourself and avoid the 'busy trap'Click To Tweet
The moral of the story here is to protect your time. No matter what external factors are taking your time, do what you can to set aside time for yourself and protect it. I’m still not the best at this, but I’m working on it…
Scheduling downtime and “deloading”
Something else I’ve been doing to help deal with this busy issue is to schedule downtime (or “deloading” time) during the week for when I can relax and do nothing. No client work, no other projects. Literally, this is my time to go play golf or blow off steam.
Taking this time for yourself is a nice way of unwinding and getting in a little break so you can rest and recharge.
Asana recently wrote about the work-rest fractal and the importance of resting so you can be more efficient when you get back to work.
Get back to a good routine
Finally, I’ve noticed that when I get busy I start to let go of the health habits and routines I’ve developed. For example, I stop meditating, I don’t read or take time to write in a journal.
All of these activities are things that help me to step back, reflect and keep a level head when the going gets tough. And yet they’re often the first things I let go when I get busy. Oh, the irony…
Recently I’ve been getting up extra early to try and get back into these habits and I’ve noticed that as soon as I set aside a few minutes for myself each day to focus on these habits I start to feel less stressed and more organised throughout the day.
If you’re stuck in the busy trap, I hope that sharing my story and some of the things I’ve been doing helps you out. Let me know your tips and anything you do to deal with being too busy.