Insights from Dana
Breaking the Cycle of Busyness

Photo by Mauro Mora

How often are you too busy with work to do what you love?

Or to show up for someone you love?

How many times have you promised “next time?”

It’s an all too common refrain amongst entrepreneurs. There are never enough hours in the day.

But, when you travel outside of North America, or if you find yourself exploring the smaller, rural communities far-flung from urban centers, you’ll notice that life slows down.

It’s one of the things I love about traveling.

People slow down. They don’t walk or talk as quickly. They don’t wolf down lunch at their desk, eating with one hand while working away with the other. They actually take their days off to enjoy themselves and spend time with friends and family.

Everything and everyone moves at a slower pace. 

It can feel luxurious if you’re used to living at breakneck busyness, provided you can slow down enough to enjoy it.

Busyness to the point of burnout is an inherent part of the story we tell ourselves about “making it” as a successful entrepreneur and business owner.

And we celebrate that, but we don’t often talk about why we laud this behavior that leaves us overwhelmed and exhausted when we know that it is unhealthy and unsustainable.

We complain about being busy all the time, so why don’t we slow down?


Status: Successfully Busy

As much as we say we want to slow down and enjoy life, being busy has become a status symbol in American life. We live in a society that tells us that we can do it all, if we just work hard enough. So we conflate busyness with productivity, efficiency, being needed, and being respected, and we strive for it. The busier we are, the more important we feel. 

The truth is that when you’re constantly juggling every aspect of your life and business, inevitably, you’re going to drop a ball. Whether you miss an important deadline with a client or celebrating a significant milestone with a loved one, constant busyness comes at the expense of the quality of your work, your life, and your health.

Unraveling this conditioning means sitting with what really matters to you as an individual and giving yourself permission to adjust your priorities accordingly.

Soothing Stress with Busyness

From the time you’re young, you’re taught that you need to work hard, get good grades, and excel at whatever you do–whether that’s athletics, the arts, academics, or ideally all of the above.

Your whole life has trained your nervous system to feel comfortable with being busy and doing it all. You’re expected to push through anxiety, stress, fear, and even physical discomfort in your striving to be a good student, gifted athlete, talented artist, strong leader, and above all, a hard worker.

All the while, you’re conditioning your brain and body to respond to stress and anxiety with busyness, to the point that it becomes an unconscious coping mechanism you use to soothe yourself. 

This creates adults who are preoccupied with being busy, who are unable to genuinely relax, and business owners who suffer from sleepless nights, constant fatigue, anxiety, isolation, and burn-out.


Being and The Bottleneck of Busyness

There is an entire industry dedicated to teaching people how to reconnect with, know, and understand themselves. In 2022, the personal growth industry was valued at over 44 billion USD. 

Because we don’t know how to recognize ourselves anymore. Sometimes we just don’t want to look, because it’s hard to see the ways we have taught ourselves to show up in the world.

We’re so busy that we’ve lost touch with who we are and what we like to do outside of work. We complain endlessly that there’s too much to do and never enough time for our friends, families, hobbies, or even a moment to ourselves. 

But, we don’t know any other way to live.

We’ve bought into the myth that hustling and grinding ourselves to the edge of burn-out is the only way to make dreams come true.

Sure, when you’re growing through the startup phase of your business, you have to put in a lot of time and energy and damn hard work. But, once you’ve survived those first few years, you come to a place in business where the hustle becomes the bottleneck that is holding you back from continued growth.


Finding Balance Beyond Busyness

Busyness keeps you preoccupied with the small picture, micro-level of your business. 

What your business needs is for you to take a more expansive perspective, to cultivate a macro understanding and approach to your company because the big picture is where creative vision lives

It’s where leadership and innovation live. 

It is fundamental to discovering the processes and methodologies that will increase revenue and productivity without increasing stress and grinding you and your team to exhaustion. 

It’s the difference between being a busy, burnt-out business owner and owning your role as the CEO of your company.

And it’s imperative to building a business that supports the life you want to live.

Start by experimenting. Commit to spending 20 minutes a day doing something you enjoy. 

If you can’t think of an activity you enjoy, choose one that calms you down, lowers your blood pressure, and lets you breathe more easily. Practice doing more of whatever that thing is, tuning in to how it feels, and see what shifts.

Because unlearning busyness is an essential part of learning to be the CEO your business needs you to be.


Ready to break the cycle of busyness?

Discover a proven path to success with Catapult Immersion® a completely customized, nine-month-long, one-on-one business strategy engagement for high-performing business leaders.

I don’t offer a one-size-fits-all template to manage your time, increase profitability, and grow your business because there is no such thing. 

When we work together one-on-one, we become scientists together, and your business becomes a playground where we experiment with ideas, tools, and techniques until we find what works best for you, your team, and your clients.

After Catapult, 92% of my clients work almost 30% less, and many of them take their first work-free vacation since starting their business.

If you’re ready to break the cycle of busyness so that you can:

 ⇒ Work less without the guilt.

 ⇒ Make more without the hustle.

 ⇒ Step up and be the CEO your company needs you to be.

Click here to take the first step. The next chapter of your success story awaits.

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