The other “B” word (Busy, busy, busy)

Quite a few people have been writing about “the other B-word” recently – busy, busy, busy.

I’ve read about the Cult of Busy; Arianna Huffington asks everyone to Stop the Glorifiation of Busy in her new book Thrive; my very own Make Some Room Manifesto says, ‘Busy is a bullshit word; choose to say something real instead”; and there was a recent article in the Huffingon Post on eliminating the word “busy” from your vocabulary.

All of this makes me want to stand up and applaud.

It’s time to eliminate the word “busy” from our lives.

Replace the word and your actions with something more specific and meaningful.

Today’s questions:

  1. If you vowed to stop saying, “I’m so busy” what would you say instead?
  2. Rather than actually being busy, how would you like to be instead?
  3. Is what you’re so busy doing really, really worth doing or it is simply something you said “Yes” to without thinking it through?
  4. Are you seduced by the Bright Shiny Object Syndrome? That’ll get you busy in no time!
  5. Are you doing the right work or just trying to get all the work done?

Use the questions above to change your language and your life. There’s no need to use the B-word, kids!

Make some room,

Angie

P.S. If you haven’t downloaded a copy of my Make Some Room Manifesto yet, now might be a good time to grab it for inspiration!

Your obsession

Quite a few clients I’ve worked with in the past year have an obsession.

This obsession shows up in offices, vehicles, bags, and on kitchen counters.

Partially used. Nearly forgotten. Scrawled on with notes, names, and phone numbers. Very Important. Mostly buried in piles or stuck in drawers. Lost but not completely forgotten. Valuable but hidden.

This obsession my clients have with the yellow legal pad is the bane of my existence (followed quickly by piles of “scrap paper” and folders labeled “miscellaneous”).

The yellow pad seems like a good idea. It’s portable, visible, and easy for note taking. Grab one for each client or event and go.

The problem is, you fail to DO anything with the yellow legal pad once you’re finished (or partially finished) with it.

Today’s questions are about processing all those notes, numbers, names, and other information you scrawl into those yellow legal pads.

“Wait, what is processing?”

Processing is the act of deciding what something is, what priority it needs, deciding where it will “live” and choosing the very next action so you do something with it. Productivity guru David Allen is the King of Processing.

When processing information of ANY kind, ask yourself:

  1. When will I sit down and process information? What’s my routine or schedule?
  2. Is this information nice to know or need to know?
  3. What’s the very next action I need to take on this?
  4. Where will this information live until I can take that action?
  5. Where will it live after I take that action?
  6. Where will it live after I’m complete with it?

I’ve always said the trash can, recycle bin, and shredder should be your best friends. I say it because it’s true.

Admit it: you keep too much that’s only nice to know and you have a terrible (or non-existent) system for the need to know stuff.

Spend a bit of time learning to process the information you scrawl on those yellow pads. You’ll feel a whole more calm and in control once you do (and you won’t have those pesky yellow piles taking up space and gathering dust).

Make some room,

Angie

P.S. If you haven’t downloaded a copy of my Make Some Room Manifesto yet, now might be a good time to grab it for inspiration!

When not to be efficient

There’s a time to be efficient and a time to not be efficient. Case in point, last week one of my clients, his manager, and I were talking about people. And he said something really profound:

“It’s an honor to serve the people you work with and the customers we work for.”

He summed it up with, “Go ahead and be efficient with systems. Don’t be efficient with people.”

Wow!

What a philosophy to live by for growing a thriving business and for creating a loyal tribe.

For today’s questions, ponder:

  1. How can you really make a difference for your clients and customers? Personal, meaningful, high-touch? Seth Godin talks about focusing on ten true fans. Start there.
  2. Have you really asked for and listened to feedback from your team recently?
  3. Have you really asked for and listened to feedback from your customers recently?
  4. How can you build an efficient system for customer feedback and make it personal, meaningful, and high-touch?
  5. In what ways can you increase your generosity with your customers, your team, your family, your friends, and your community?

Make some room,

Angie

P.S. Julie LaChance of RMS Solutions, Inc. will help you master Gmail and Google Apps. Join her Friday, May 9th, to learn how to effectively use these tools.

P.P. S. If you haven’t downloaded a copy of my Make Some Room Manifesto yet, now might be a good time to grab it for inspiration!

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