How are you doing today? For many of us, our first response would be ‘busy’, a status that is often considered a badge of honour. After all, if you’re busy, it’s because you’re important and have a lot to do – right? Well, not necessarily.
The truth is, many of us make ourselves busy, push ourselves and over-commit to avoid slowing down and listening to our own insecurities. We then say to ourselves that it’s OK, because if we’re so busy we must be successful. Truly successful people however are skilled at delegating and prioritising, allowing themselves the space and time to be creative.
So, why are most of us stuck in the ‘busy trap’?
Many of us believe that success only comes from pulling all-nighters and working ourselves to the bone. In order to prove that our work is valuable, we over-prepare. In many cases however, this isn’t necessary. Next time you’re working on a project, consider whether or not putting in a herculean effort is truly needed or if you are simply seeking approval. What would happen if you gave yourself space for creativity?
We criticise ourselves for motivation
While pushing ourselves can be useful, there is a difference between healthy striving and unhealthy perfection. Being hard on ourselves and being overly critical can actually hinder our motivation. Research suggests that self-compassion is the way to go; in one study participants who practiced self-appreciation had stronger willpower than those who were self-critical.
We believe multitasking is effective
Many studies have proven multitasking to be ineffective, yet many of us still try to accomplish too many things at once. If you’re feeling overwhelmed by too many tasks, take a step back and consider what you really need to focus on and what you can delegate or outsource.
We think we work better under pressure
Some of us create our own drama by leaving things until the last minute, believing that the time crunch will force us to work harder. Instead of thinking to yourself “I must be stressed to get things done”, ask yourself if you are creating an un-needed sense of urgency, and what you can do to avoid this.
We avoid accepting help from others
In an attempt to prove we can ‘do it all’ we often say yes to every project offered to us and end up exhausted and ineffective. Try to shift this perception and get comfortable with asking for help. The most successful people are surrounded by a good team of supporters, both professionally and personally.