Let’s get real about busy work.. shall we?
Have you ever looked back on your day and wondered what happened? Like, you felt so busy and did SO many things, but all those tasks didn’t add up?
Or have you ever wondered why you’ve spent years working on a goal, wondering why you haven’t made as much promise as you’d hope?
Then this is the episode for you!
IN THIS EPISODE YOU’LL HEAR:
- The difference between short-term and long-term motivation
- How to recognize busy work and the limiting beliefs that cause you to get stuck in it.
- What the “instant-gratificationer” is and why you’ve got to overpower it.
- and the only time management process you need.
If you just listened in, I’d love to know what resonated with you the most! You can find me on IG @MonicaChats.
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LISTEN TO THE EPISODE
THIS WEEK’S TRANSCRIPTEpisode 51: Busy Work Vs. Taking Massive Action on Your Goals
You keep putting it in your calendar, things like that. But. Somehow we don’t take enough action on them to actually really move the needle on accomplishing the goal and somehow the idea of being too busy or always having a bunch of stuff to do, maybe it’s tidying up the house again for the hundredth time or.
Sweeping again for the hundredth time, or maybe it’s going through and deleting all of those screenshots that you’ve taken on your phone. Um, that’s a hint into my life. I desperately need to do that, but I am not wasting time on it. Anyway, that’s a peek into my life. But. If you are somebody who finds yourself making a plan in the middle, in the beginning of the day, and you’re like, okay, I got a bunch of stuff to do.
I feel really good. I got it all written out in my planner, or I’ve got it in my Google calendar, or whatever it is that you use, and you’re like, Oh, I feel good. I’m going to make a get a lot of stuff done. But then somehow the end of the day happens and you’re like, where the hell did everything go? Where did the hell did the day go?
Like, what did I even do today? You look back on the day and you’re like. I feel so busy, but I don’t get what I did. Or maybe it’s not like that for you. Maybe for you, it is thinking about your goal and you’ve been working on it for a few months, six months, a year, things like that. Maybe it’s you writing a book or maybe it’s you bringing your online business to life, or maybe it’s just trying to lose weight, whatever that is for you.
Maybe what we’re talking about here is where you look back after a month or six months or a year or even years, and think about, man. I feel like I’ve been so busy, but I haven’t accomplished the thing that it is that I want to do. And if this is you, then first of all, I want you to know it’s okay and that you are not alone.
I have definitely been there. I have clients who are currently there. Um, it is not something that is just you. It’s not like because there’s something wrong with you. I want you to understand that. But we are going to talk today about why that’s happening. And talk about an intangible way to fix that, which is the hardest for sure, but it will be the most long lasting and we’re going to go into a tangible way to actually manage your time so that way.
You can work on the real tasks and the real things that really need to be done in order to make a real difference towards the big goals that you have. Like I said, maybe it’s the writing of the book. Maybe it’s the starting the business. Maybe it’s losing weight, whatever it is for you. We’ll talk about what’s currently getting in your way.
You know what being busy actually means. And if it’s busy work, like the work that you know you do and you feel busy about, but at the end of the week you don’t remember what you did. So I’m excited to talk to you about that today because like I said, today’s just really all about not only just goal setting, but how to actually.
Bring those goals to life because it’s one thing to believe that you can do the goal, which is something I love to talk about a lot, and it’s one thing to be happy and love your life where you are, which is also what I love to talk about. But if you do want to have something else in your future and you do want to be striving for more, maybe it’s for your family.
Maybe it’s just to be able to live a more comfortable life. Maybe it’s because you just really want to get that artistic, creative expression out there, whatever that is. That’s what we’re going to be focusing more in on today. So I’m really excited that you took some time to listen to this episode, and we’re going to get into the intangible parts of stopping the busy work and taking real action on your goals.
So I’m super pumped to be getting into this, so let’s get into it now. So number one, and this is probably one of the most important things to do, and it’s important to do this first. Is to decide and really figure out where your mindset is. So we need to become self aware, right? Because when we are just so busy that we’re doing a bunch of stuff, like we do a bunch of tasks or we run a bunch of errands or things like that, it’s really easy to get wrapped up.
In the small parts of life, it’s easy to get wrapped up in something that’s not important and all of these small important things, rushing from task to task, rushing from Aaron to errand, it keeps your vision and your focus very narrowed on what it is that’s currently right in front of your face. Right?
Because. It’s hard to be able to think about your goals when you think about rushing to do the next thing or checking the next thing off of the list. So first we need to become aware of what we’re doing, because again, once you get wrapped up in that cycle of continuing to be busy and having a bunch of busy work, it’s hard to get out of that without understanding where that’s coming from.
But before we do that, we need to understand why we have these big goals that we want, because most likely. We’re avoiding taking real action on the big goals because that requires us to get uncomfortable in some way, right? It requires us to maybe go out and talk to people that we would feel uncomfortable otherwise talking to.
It might involve us taking time to really pour our creative juices and our focus in on writing. If that’s something that you’re doing or it’s making you literally uncomfortable because you have to work out. Right? I mean, it could be. Any combination of anything like that, but what’s happening is, is that.
In order to have something that you never had. You have to do stuff you’ve never done. And usually the stuff that you’ve never done is things that you are going to feel really uncomfortable about. So it’s like your brain is trying to keep you away from doing that kind of stuff. Your brain wants to do what’s easier and what’s comfortable.
And maybe. That is part of the busy work, right? Because you are doing a bunch of stuff. Maybe it’s not comfortable as in the sense of you’re lounging around on the couch, but it’s comfortable because you know what the what the actual thing is, you know that you have the ability to do it. You don’t have to question yourself.
The feelings of maybe. Lack of self worth or self doubt doesn’t come up, because when you’re talking about being able to sweep the floor or reorganize the photos on your phone, most likely that’s not going to make you think about those things. Just like your big goals would right. So because of how uncomfortable the real action we need to take on our goals is we have to remember our real true motivations for why we have these goals.
Because that motivation is going to be what pulls us out of the busy work. What pulls us out from being comfortable and what pulls us out from staying in stuff that we’re comfortable with, and we know. And it pulls us into the gross zone, which is where our brain does not like to be. Because again, your brain wants to keep you safe.
It wants to keep you not expending a lot of energy, right? Because when we go out and we work on our goals and we get into the uncomfortable zone, we get into the growth zone. It doesn’t feel great, especially in that moment. Growing is not easy, right? I mean, I don’t know about you, but when I was growing up.
I was six feet tall. Okay. I’m probably five 11 but right around six feet tall when I was 12 years old. Right. So I grew fricking fast. Okay. And when I was growing that fast, there are growing pains. And so, believe me, when I say, I hope that metaphor kind of helps you visualize how uncomfortable growing is.
But. I would not have traded that for the world because I’d rather go through the growing pains of becoming the hype that I am. Then being, you know, like three feet tall when I was. You know, a toddler, right? We want these things because we want to grow into the person we want to be. And so the same type of thing happens inside of our brain.
It’s not just a physical thing like growing taller, it’s actually expanding our mind, right? Not physically, literally expanding the mind, but it is forming new neural pathways, doing things like that. So it’s doing your, is doing a lot of work here. And so. We need the motivation to be able to pull us through.
And not just the superficial motivation, like, I want more money, or I, I want a comfortable life. Like those are motivations. Yes, don’t get me wrong, but we need to understand why we want something like that, right? So there’s a lot of times when we set goals that are really important to us, like we, I want to lose weight, I want to make more money.
And that’s not actual motivation because those are the results. Of the actions that you take, right? So that’s not the motivation. What the motivation is, is the benefits that you get from the results that you get. So let’s say that it is that you want to lose weight, right? That’s the, that’s the desired result.
But hanging around, being skinny. And that be the only thing ever in your entire life that’s not going to make you happy. That’s not going to make you fulfilled, right? It’s the benefits that you experience from being thinner or not even being fun or just being healthier really. But think about it like this.
If you knew that losing weight meant that you were going to live in a vacuum and never see anybody again, it’s like, would you do that? No. Even though that’s something you may have been desiring forever, right? So what I’m saying here is that we need to understand the benefits of the desired result and not use the result as a motivation, but the benefits that we’re going to get from that.
So with the weight loss example, that would be the added benefit of having more stamina. And maybe that means going on a road trip with your significant other and being able to bike around wherever you want to and not feel winded or not feel miserable while doing it. Maybe it’s that you are. Stuck in that career that you hate and you want to bring your idea to life in the form of a business.
And. Making money. You want to make money to be able to help your family and should be able to be stable and things like that, but only having money as your motivation is not going to be enough for when the uncomfortableness happens. Right. Because again, your brain wants to stay comfortable. That’s not going to be enough motivation to keep pulling it through.
If it was, you’d already have all the money in the world and take care of your family. Right. So we need to get clear on the added benefits. So what’s the added benefit of being financially stable from your idea turned into a business while the added benefit of that would be taking your family to Disney world, or being able to pay for your kid’s college debt without actually having to take debt.
You see where I’m going with this, we need to have a clear, concrete motivation that is the benefit of the desired result that we want. I like to think about these in two different ways. So I like to define both my short term motivation and longterm motivation, because sometimes, especially when it comes to the beginning of starting your goal and you don’t have.
The belief built yet that you can actually achieve the thing that you want. You need a different, more captivating motivation than the beginning instead of the longterm big motivation that feels very far away. You need something that feels much more closer to home and something that you can actually reach within a certain amount of timeframe.
Right, and so. A short term motivation would be what gets you through the instant gratification or inside of you. So remember how I was talking about how your brain doesn’t want to do these hard things. It doesn’t want to do these things. That’s going to cost a lot of energy because it wants to keep you safe and it wants to conserve energy, right?
So that is something that I call like the instant gratification, or that’s the person that wants to, you know, eat chips. And when you know you shouldn’t be because you’re on a diet and you know that this diet is full of . Good nutritious food that’s going to help feel your body. So that way you can have the stamina to be able to go backpacking and ride on bikes and not, you know, fizzle out.
Right? But the instant gratification or is telling you, it’s like the little devil on your shoulder, right? It’s telling you that, Oh, we’ll just go ahead and eat the chips now. It’s okay. It’s just one bag of chips, or, Oh, I had a really bad day at work. I deserve to eat the chips. And then you’re starting to eat out of the emotion, right?
That’s the instant gratification or on your shoulder telling you to do that. And if the little image of the little devil on your shoulder isn’t the right imagery that you want to use for that, then just think about how your brain is doing that. Trying to keep you in a comfortable, safe space. Something that you’ve known and something that it knows because you’ve been doing it in your past right.
So the short term motivation could be, you know, if I don’t eat these chips for the rest of the day, then tomorrow I can have a little bit of extra fruit as my, I don’t know. You can see kind of where I’m going with that. Like you need to come up with short term motivation that’s actually, um, motivating to you and not something gigantic that feels far away and that feels unattainable.
But something that is a motivation that will. Excite you. Maybe that’s, if you don’t eat the chips for the rest of the day, then tomorrow you can go and grab your favorite salad for lunch. I dunno. Something like that. Right? Nothing that’s life or death. Nothing that is going to feel crazy far away. So now we want to pair that short term emotion and that short term motivation up with some longterm motivation.
So that is the real big picture here, right? That’s the one that feels far away, but it’s the one that’s most important out of that. All of it. So like I said, that’s the, I want to become financially stable in my business, so that way I can take care of my family. That’s the, I want to lose weight, not only just to look good, but I want to do that so I feel good and have more energy and stamina so I can go on these fun trips with my significant other.
You know what I mean? It’s the, I want to finish this book because I want to get. Letters in the mail from the women who read the book and whose lives have been affected by the book. These are the longterm motivations. These are the ones that you want to repeat to yourself often because of how big they seem and how far away they seem.
It’s something that you have to continue to remind yourself up every single day, and I would not tell you this if this is not something I do myself, I literally write down my longterm motivations. Every single day, and what I do every single day is to be able to come up with a plan in that day. So that way I can strengthen the belief that I will get that more.
So that’s a little bit of a bonus for you if you’re at this far in the episode instead of maybe doing it to do list when it comes to making your dreams come true. Taking real action on your goals. Think about how you. What you can do in that day to strengthen the belief that you’ll actually do and accomplish the goals that you want.
Okay. So that’s the first part of that. So now we need to be able to be self aware of what’s happening inside of your brain and what types of thoughts are popping up that are stopping you from taking the big action and what types of thoughts are popping up that are creating an emotion that’s making you.
That’s then turning into an action of busy work, right? So we need to become self aware of the types of thoughts that we’re having. Because again, if you are in the realm of the busy world or the busy work, then it’s hard to be able to get out of that. Unless you can look at yourself like, um, like a neutral party, like a third person.
Right? I just want to say this. Don’t hate me, but we’ve got some tough love coming and I’m hoping this is helpful, but this is a little bit of a kick in the ass. But what’s not getting in your way is your circumstances. Right. So it’s not that you don’t have enough time. It’s not that you have so much to do.
It’s not that you don’t know how to do it. I, because I know you are an intelligent woman and you can figure this out. Like I believe that in my core, and I know you can’t see me right now, and you might be shaking your head like, you don’t even know who I am. That doesn’t matter. Like if, I don’t know, if we have not met in person, I am telling you this over the airwaves.
I believe in you and I know you can do this and I know you can figure it out as well, right? So it’s none of these things. None of these circumstantial things that are stopping you. It’s when you believe that your circumstances are stopping you and that you have a ton to do and things like that. That is your brain.
Telling you to stay safe. That is your brain like self-sabotaging when you think about doing the real big work that you need to in order to accomplish your goals. So like I said, that was some tough love, but it’s true. And once we can start taking responsibility for the actions that we take. Then we can start to shift the actions.
Then we can start to shift the beliefs and the emotions that we have about ourselves and thoughts that we have about ourselves into things that are actually going to help us get it done. Okay, so like. When you start to feel yourself getting into the busy work or feel yourself doing things that you know, deep, deep, deep down, are not actually going to get you to where you want to go.
This is when we need to recognize the thoughts that you’re having right before you start doing this busy work or when you’re doing the busy work, right? We need to be able to become aware. So start thinking of these thoughts and. If you have a notebook around, you start writing some of these down, like what do you think?
Right? When you start to be like, ah, I know I need to write today for my book, but I’ve got to be able to tweak my headshot a bit. I don’t know where that came from, but you see where I’m going with it doesn’t matter if you have the headshot for the back cover of your book if you haven’t written the damn thing yet.
Right. So that would be an example of busy work because you know the real work you need to do is writing the book. But. Your brain starts to tell you like, Oh, okay, I’ll write later, but I really should figure out this photo, or I should write my bio, or, I don’t know. You should do some more research. That’s a good one.
That’s a great busy work one where you feel. You’re like telling yourself that you’re being productive and actually taking real big steps towards your goals because you’re learning how to write. But there is a difference between researching and actually actively researching it because there are actual things you need to figure out before you take a step.
And there’s a difference between that and procrastination research and just getting sucked into the circle of the internet articles. Right. And so. How we determine that is the types of thoughts that we have. So when you think about the big goals that you need to do and you think, think about the big needle moving actions you need to take in order to bring these goals to life, that one thought that pops up, maybe even it’s like so quiet, you can barely hear it, but there’s a thought that pops up right before you decide not to do that big action that you need to in order to accomplish your goal.
Maybe it’s something like that. This won’t matter anyway, or I’m not any good at this, right? So you, you see it, you can, you can hear that, right? Like it’s just a teeny tiny voice. And it may be just one little tiny thought like that coming from your subconscious that you don’t even realize. But this is what’s telling your brain, Oh, I don’t believe that I can do this, so I need to do something that I know I can do, which is.
Sweeping the floors again, which is organizing the photos, which is, you know, editing the, the headshot that I need to use because your brain wants to validate itself. It wants to feel that. You can do what you want to, but it’s not risking that you need to take big, scary action. Right? Because when you take the big scary action, that’s when you don’t know if you’re going to get the result.
It’s not written in stone yet, but that’s where your belief comes from. But we can’t build the belief that you can actually accomplish the big goals that you want to until we. Deal with the subconscious little tiny thoughts that pop up right before we think about doing the real work that we need to do on our goals.
So that of course, is going to depend on you, and that’s going to depend on how much you’re listening to your thoughts instead of passively consuming your thoughts. And what I mean by that is we have thoughts all day long. We have like 60 to 70,000 thoughts a day or something like that that I’ve read online.
And, um. Most of the time we don’t actively hear them, like we have them all day long, but they just kind of pop in and out of other stuff. Like we think about all the things that we have to do, and then it starts to slip in like the little bits of the subconscious where where we don’t believe ourselves.
Right. It just slips in and out like that so quick. It’s even hard to hear it, but the more and more that keeps happening. It’s like it can continues to compound. It gets bigger and bigger and bigger, like a snowball rolling down a Hill. The more times your your brain in your self conscious keeps saying that, like all of these.
Limiting beliefs that you have, like, I can’t do this. It’s not gonna matter anyway, et cetera. The more you start to actually believe that as well. So we need to be able to be self aware and actually recognize these thoughts when we’re having them. And then. Be able to be like, you know what? I actually can decide what I think.
So I know that I, this subconscious thought popped up with how I can’t do this, but this is something that’s important to me and I know if I keep working at it, I will figure it out. And the more and more you do that, again, one time is not going to be a big deal, right? If you do this once, you do this work once and you catch your subconscious thought once.
And then you redirect it and you’re like, okay, cool. I’m good to go for the rest of my life. That’s not gonna quite happen, right? Because again, it’s that snowball effect. So we need to do this over and over and over and tell. It automatically picks up speed, and then the snowball gets bigger and bigger and bigger.
And then you actually truly believe in yourself that whatever goal that you have. You feel that it is inevitably going to happen. There is no if, ands, or buts. It’s going to happen for you because you know that you believe in yourself to take the big tasks and the big actions that you need to in order to achieve what you want to be inevitable.
Right. So that is the intangible part of this, and I hope that I, that it helps. I know that it was a lot to think about and it’s a lot to do and it’s a lot to do on your own. It’s really fricking hard to do. And so if that is you and you’re like, there is no fricking way in hell that I’m going to be able to catch all of those times where that comes up and be able to change my thoughts really, then.
In the show notes, I will leave a link to how to work with me one on one because this is exactly what I help clients with and this is how we get the big results that they want. So I’ll leave that in the link below. Okay. So we are going to move into the tactical part of this episode, and that is only after we start to recognize the types of thoughts that we’re having that are leading to the actions that we don’t want to do, like the busy work right.
This is not going to be the part of the podcast where I talk about the new planner that just came out, or a new project management tool or something like that. Like something, anything that’s external of you. Besides maybe a calendar. I mean, I would say you need a calendar, but other than that, you don’t need a new planner.
You don’t need to go crazy. I mean, heck, all you need is a piece of paper to write this down, or maybe the notes app on your phone or whatever. You do not need to get crazy here and start procrastinating again and starting that cycle again of, well, I should look into a new planner or a new product management tool or something like that.
I had been doing something like this for a while, but there is a idea that was explained to me that explains this much better than what I was doing. And they call it Monday hour one and I love this so much. So I’ll link to the episode of a podcast that I listened to where I first learned of this name and the more specifics about it.
But the idea is, is that we want to spend the first hour of our week just brain dumping all of the things that we need to do. Right? All of the big things you need to do, not the busy work again, because again, we’re, we know better now. Now that we’re paying attention to our thoughts and we’re seeing how that leads into the actions of busy work that doesn’t actually help us achieve the goal.
Now we can determine what types of needle moving tasks we need to do. And so the idea what this Monday, our one idea is that you take the first hour of the week. And for me it’s Sunday, so it’s not actually Monday hour one for me. It’s the first hour of Sunday and I brain dump every big needle moving tasks that I need to do.
And then what happens is I take all of those and then I will put them in my calendar for the week for how long I X. I tell myself that I have to do it and when it’s going to get done because that way. It’s still exercising. The fact that I am staying focused on what I actually need to do, but it’s also helping me strengthen the belief that I have because so often we have this idea where, Oh, you know, I don’t know how long this is going to take, or, I’ve never done this before, so I don’t know how long it’s going to take, or, Oh, if I schedule stuff, then I never do it right.
This is because you don’t have the belief in yourself. And then again, we talked about this earlier in the episode, we can establish a better belief in ourselves when we think about the thoughts that we’re having. So when we do redirect these thoughts into, instead of going from, I don’t know how long this is going to take, um, or I don’t know if I can do this, or, Oh, I never do this.
If I schedule things, we need to redirect those into giving the power back to us. So instead of saying something like, I don’t know how long this is going to take. Instead say, you know what, I have 30 minutes to do this. I’m going to figure it out because I am intelligent enough to figure it out and I’m going to get that done in this time.
And like I said, you say it in such a way that it feels like an inevitability that it’s going to happen, right. Something that I definitely believe in is that if it’s not on the calendar, it’s not real. And so if you looked at my Google calendar, Oh my gosh, it’s all color coded. So. Anybody out there that is a type a, um, that, you know, maybe you’re trying to get over the busy work, but you’re like, Oh, I just don’t want to intuitively just feel how to do everything and when to do everything.
No, none of that. You don’t have to do that. If you feel good with a calendar, a paper calendar, or they do want to use a planner, great. Just don’t get lost down the rabbit hole of trying to find the perfect one. Just think about all the things you need to do. Think about what time, like how long you need to do them, put them in your calendar and get them done.
And that is it, my friends. So I hope this episode really helped you be able to identify not only. How to not do the busy work and actually take real action on your goals, but why you’re doing the busy work and why that keeps popping up and how to actually get over that. And again, this is not something that’s overnight.
I feel like I say that in almost every single episode. I’m so disclaimer, it’s not something that happens overnight, but again, if you believe that you can actually achieve it and do it over time, and you believe in the snowball effect and you’re okay with the snowball effect. Then it will change long lasting.
So I’m very excited for you for that. And like I said earlier, if this is something that you logically get and you’re like, Hmm, that sounds good, but I don’t know if I can actually do it, or, Oh, that sounds good, I’ve tried it, but I just, I’m doing something wrong. I don’t quite get it. Then click the link in the show notes.
Just bullet right below wherever you’re listening to this episode. It’ll take you over to the show notes and then I’ll end the links. All have a place where you can check out working with me one-on-one because again, this is exactly what I help people with and exactly what I specialize in, so I can help you be able to catch those subconscious thoughts that keep popping up that you might not be hearing, and that is what is leading you into doing something.
That you don’t want to do or it’s leading you to not do like an inaction that you don’t want to do either. So I’ll leave all of that in the show notes. So click the link just below where ever you’re listening to this episode and guys, I will see you next week.