Two months left in 2021 (fortunately four months for the financial year which is then still a third of the financial year). Worse yet, 32 working days before we close our office for the December break. If your life is anything like mine then it’s a little frantic at the moment. Actually no let me correct that – It’s CHAOS and OVERWHELMING. It is all self-inflicted but still chaotic and overwhelming. We’ve closing off 2021, prepping 2022, having our year-end franchise conference and annual awards, global planning two-day event, two-day purpose training, staff and client parties, client planning days, starting new clients, charity events, school exams, holiday planning, vegetable gardening and a multitude of other things all at the same time. One of the biggest problems though for business owners is that we convince ourselves that being busy is what business is all about and that as long as we are giving our all, then there is not much else that we can do. While we all know that we need to work smarter rather than harder, the reality is that life always throws us curve balls and we end up reacting to the environment we find ourselves in and going back to our old ways. The reason for this stems from why we got into business in the first place. When you are starting a business there is a real buzz from getting things off the ground, everything is new and exciting and the dreams that you set off with are still clear in your mind. At this stage, you have to work hard because there is nobody else to do the work and if you don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. Unfortunately, herein lies the root of our future problems. When we are busy like this, we usually end up running on high amounts of adrenaline. Pumped up, working long hours and overcoming great challenges and with every win we have we make imprints in our subconscious mind, linking working hard with success and becoming a workaholic. So if that’s you, and often it is me too, what do we do? The first step is awareness of the problem and admitting this is you. The next is to take ownership of the situation. True ownership! There is no point in blaming anybody apart from yourself. You can’t blame your team, the time of year, the economy, the government, COVID, the local elections or even your customers. So when you are clear that you are in control and can act differently and get a different result, what can you actually do to help you wean yourself off your workaholism. The first thing is to be really clear about what sort of life you want to lead: How many hours per week, days per year do you want to work? What will your team do for you? What would you rather be doing instead of working all the time? Ask yourself these four questions about literally everything going on at the moment: 1. Is this REALLY important to me? 2. Will what I’m doing take me closer to my overall VISION or GOAL? 3. Through doing this will it make me more money? 4. Can I TRULY control this? If you’re not answering Yes, Yes, Yes and Yes then ‘Houston we have a problem!’ This is really important because if you don’t have something you like better, you will always end up doing what you are doing now, even if deep down you hate it. Now you know what you want, decide the time scale you want this to happen and plan out what needs to happen each quarter in order for you to get there. Remember, it takes a lot longer to break an old habit than to start a new one. Start new habits, create a new supporting diary and start new rituals or like we like to spell them: RICHuals. Time is ticking. Use this end-of-year period to refocus and move away from BUSYNESS and get back to BUSINESS! Be honest with yourself and admit it when you need help and embrace it, other people will see you fall back into your old busyness habits far sooner than you do. Now is the time to Get into ACTION!
Harry Welby Cooke, ActionCOACH Country Partner