Why is it that when we feel overwhelmed and stressed, we wear our “busy-ness” like a badge of courage?
When I entered the job market right in the middle of the recession, there was a huge shift happening in the way college graduates were surviving in the world. My generation had been taught our whole lives that if you went to college and did well, you would get a job soon after transitioning into the “real world”. So when there weren’t any jobs (at least not the traditional jobs we’d all assumed we would be getting), we had to figure out a new way to survive.
Enter: the gig economy. Suddenly, instead of having one job, you had to have four or five to make ends meet. At one point I was a research assistant for a PR firm, a nanny, a teacher, an actress, and a painter-for-hire…ALL at the same time. My generation had to learn how to compete with computers replacing humans on top of a non-existent job market which made us VERY BUSY trying to find, get, and do work in order to survive.
After a few years of hustling like that, you begin to feel that “busy-ness” equates to success. If you’re not doing something, you’re not making money, and if you’re not making money, you’re not using your time wisely.
But going between two extremes of hustling and worrying is not a sustainable way to live. Not to mention, it’s a surefire path to burnout and regret.
Like many others who were struggling to make ends meet, I decided enough was enough. I took a hard pivot and decided my mental health and my personal life were just as (if not more) important than my career. I quickly realized that taking a step back from the hustle not only did wonders for my mental health, but for my business and my bottom line as well.
As soon as I stopped glorifying “busy”, something magical happened: I began to LOVE MY JOB.
Once I decided I wasn’t going to be constantly “busy” anymore, I was able to focus on the most meaningful tasks at hand and prioritize what I was willing to spend time on. Is it weird that I feel a little embarrassed, (even guilty!), admitting that I actively enjoy what I do AND try really hard to only work 6 hours a day?
Why is it that we (especially women!) feel like we have to be hustling 24/7, feel stressed, and be busy to be “successful”? I can’t tell you how many hours of my life have been wasted worrying and procrastinating that I’m not doing “enough”.
So when I had a full on meltdown about it, I had to take a step back and say: how many hours do you REALLY need to invest in each project in order to succeed?
Can we “Marie Kondo” our mental clutter around our work and career? The answer is Obama’s campaign slogan: Yes, WE CAN!
I’m by NO MEANS perfect! I struggle with this on a daily basis. But now that I’m aware of my pattern, I can breathe and say, “Kelsey is it necessary to look up 29 YouTube clips about this super niche thing in order to successfully write this person’s email sequence?” Probably not.
Now, I try to schedule 6, SUPER dialed-in productive hours of work every day (except for sacred Saturdays🙌🏼). It happens, like, 1/3 of the time. But on those days I feel SO much more productive than on the days I fretted and made 17 to do lists and ran around like a chicken with my head cut off for 12 hours.
Do you need to “Marie Kondo” your workday? Do you make your own schedule? Does the idea of a 6-hour workday stress you out? What works for for you??
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