Stuck in the busy trap?

Working long hours against your will?

As the founder of a business, the responsibility can weigh heavily on your shoulders.

Sure, you have a team, but they aren’t always the solution to all your problems, like you thought (hoped and prayed maybe?) they’d be.

When someone mentions the phrase work/life balance you roll your eyes and say “I wish!”

But we have more control over our time than we take responsibility for.

And I learned that the hard way…

You see, starting my own business was something I did in my early 40’s after a lengthy career in a safe Government job for 15 years. 

My old career taught me that to progress and succeed, you had to work hard (aka long hours and weekends). 

It came naturally then that I would work every day of the week at some point or another. 

Trying to hit that first $100K was like getting a rocket ship off the ground and I believed that to earn it I had to ‘deserve’ it. 

And then I had to work hard to maintain and grow it, being across everything myself to make sure my clients got the level of service that I believed only I could give them. 

Until one day working (yet again) at my desk during the school holidays, my daughter (who was in primary school at the time) came up beside me to ask me something. 

I didn’t turn to her, just kept typing and said ‘what’s up?’. 

She stopped me dead in my tracks when she said ‘Mum if Cameron (my son) or I died, would you take time off work for our funeral?’ 

Wow. That hurt! 

But how was I to know that working long hours and being busy wasn’t the answer to success? 

Nobody teaches this stuff, you have to learn it the hard way as a female founder. 

How could you know not to do it differently? 

A study by Gartner in the US found that work-life balance is valued more than health benefits, which makes sense given that work-life integration keeps us healthy. 

And yet, according to the same study, we take 26% of our work home with us increasing our chance of burnout due to overwork, and 40% use their computers after 10 p.m., reducing what’s considered optimal sleep quality. 

But it doesn’t have to be that way. 

A smarter way of working isn’t just about doing another time management course. 

It’s about moving your thinking and behaviour to ensure you find the time freedom you are searching for.

Nicky and I have worked with enough clients to know that you can get out of the busy trap and find that elusive time freedom you’re looking for.

This is the answer:

And this is how you get there: 

  1. Move away from the beliefs that keep you feeling like you are continually ‘busy’ and start to prioritise living in a way you want to live.
  2. Set strong boundaries. You’ll know you are doing this well if you find yourself saying ‘yes’ less than you say ‘no’ to requests that are against what you want to do.
  3. Understand what drives your behaviour and make sure you are finding resourceful ways of meeting your needs.

Ness is a Coach and Mentor for women in business. She is obsessed with helping women break the cycles in business that hold them back from creating profitable businesses they love, without having to sacrifice time or life.

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