We live in a world where “busy” is seen as being “successful”, and even good for us. Here’s the thing – it is not. “Busy” is harmful to you and your business.

As business owners, we need to realise that being busy is not good for our business, our staff or us. Instead of striving to be busy, we need to strive to be productive and healthy, and that starts with taking the pressure off ourselves.

No one got into business to be working 90-hour weeks! In most cases, we left the corporate world to avoid just that. 

Often, when we are busy we are not present in our family or business lives, we are just stressed. This, in turn, makes us blind to the opportunities and success that are happening around us every day, and studies have proven that working more than 40 hours per week makes you less productive, and none of us want that.

While there will be busy times in business, “busy” is not something we should want to be constantly, as it is not all that it is cracked up to be. “Busy” often means we are exhausted, stressed and unwell. This is not a desirable outcome.

Let’s look at few ways to break being busy:

Set Hours:

Setting yourself working hours as you would have in a job is the first step to breaking the busy habit. 

For me, I work 8-3 most days and Friday is always ‘my’ day, whether it be working on the business or going out to do something for me.

Take Time Out:

Once you have set those hours, do something else outside of them so you do not fall into the busy trap. This could mean playing a game with the kids, switching your phone off and going to the movies or taking a walk. 

However, whatever you do, do not fill those hours with work! Fill them with something you love so being “busy” will be hard to do.

Do what you are good at:

By doing what we are good at and delegating the rest, we are less likely to become frustrated as business owners. I am a great ideas person, but numbers and accounts are not my thing, so accounts manage that. 

I love marketing our brands and ideas so when I am working on these I am at my best, my team like me and I am productive. So, by leaving the numbers to someone else I remove the frustration and overwhelm of a task I don’t love.

Each time you start a task ask yourself…Am I the best person to be doing this?

Reward Results, Not Hours:

A quote from one of my past employers “I don’t care how long it took, I care about whether it worked”. That has stuck with me ever since.

Look for the results from your business rather than the time and hours. There is no magical number of hours we should be putting in.

Put your health first:

Studies in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine conclude that working long hours increases a person's chances of illness and injury. 

The research shows that those who logged in 12 hours a day working, experienced a 37 percent increase in risk compared to those who worked fewer hours. 

Risks include hypertension, cardiovascular disease, fatigue, stress, depression, chronic infections, and diabetes, to name a few.

Switch Off:

If you do find yourself “busy”, take steps to make sure it is only for a short period of time to achieve a goal, then stop it.