top 3 reasons why you are too busy

Being too busy is the result of our choices. It’s not the cause of our problems.

Many of my clients come to me because they are too busy.

  • They are working too many hours.
  • They spend most of their time putting out fires and trying to keep up with everything.
  • They have to say no to opportunities because there is no time to do more work.
  • Their team members are frustrated.
  • They are tired, frustrated, and demotivated because they can’t see a way to change it.

Before you can make a change, you first need to recognize and accept this simple truth…

Being too busy is the result of our choices. It’s not the cause of our problems.

It’s easy to think that being too busy is the problem, but it’s the symptom of the underlying causes that need to change. 

The good news? It’s fixable! 

The bad news? You are the only one who can fix it.

The first step to fixing it is understanding the top 3 reasons why business owners are too busy.

1) Saying yes more than you say no

The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, states that 20% of our efforts lead to 80% of our results. Unfortunately, this also means that 80% of our efforts contribute to only 20% of our results.

In other words, you may spend up to 80% of your time on things that don’t matter. Yikes!

This happens when my clients default to saying yes to everything that comes their way. 

Yes, to every new project. 
Yes, to every new client. 
Yes, to every new idea.

Every time you say yes to something, there is less of you (and your team) to go around. As a result, you’ll make little progress in many areas versus measurable progress where it matters the most.

I love how beautifully Greg McKeown summarizes this in his book Essentialism.

“Once you give yourself permission to stop trying to do it all, to stop saying yes to everyone [and everything], you can make your highest contribution towards the things that really matter.”

2) Still seeing yourself as a doer vs. leader

Business activities can be categorized into Doing, Managing, or Leading. The more time & energy you spend on Doing, the less time you have for Managing and Leading.

Doing is a habit. If you are anything like my clients, you are used to being the doer because you’ve done it for so long. However, if you continue to identify as the ‘doer,’ you will always be too busy because you are unwilling to let it go.

One of my favorite things to see when I step in to support a business is everyone in their sweet spot:
Leader: YOU
Manager: Me (or another Certified OBM/DOO)
Doer: Team

3) Not building a strong foundation of team & systems

Once you’ve embraced your role as a leader and are ready to let go of the doing, the next step is to bring in the right people to do the work and build a strong foundation of systems for everyone to work from.

You need to hire a team – specifically a manager. And yet many people struggle here because they haven’t hired this level of critical support in their business before. Most business owners struggle to find, hire and (sometimes) lead the right team and that’s OK. 

That is why being willing to invest in hiring great people who specialize in hiring is what takes you out of busy and to the next level.

If you are too busy, I invite you to explore these 3 areas and let me know which of them feels like your biggest pain point. I assure you that even small changes in any of these 3 areas will make a measurable difference.