Josh Masters from Buy Side talks about his personal experience with being overwhelmingly busy and how he learnt the art of doing more, by doing less.
I had hit breaking point.
Running my business at high speed, juggling the finances of our next property investment and trying to get on top of the needs of a 2-year old had started to take its toll.
I knew it was only a matter of time before things began to unravel and I could feel my quality of life slowly going down the gurgler.
It was time to call in help, so I turned to a business coach one of my colleagues had recently used with great success.
"How do you feel?", he asked as he sat down in front of me.
"Good. Busy.", I replied quickly without thinking.
My default response. I was busy, but I was far from good.
"Ok, I get that you’re busy. But everyone’s busy. Tell me how you really are".
He was right. I spoke about being busy like a badge of honour. But lately, I realised that everyone I spoke to said the same thing, usually coupled with a look of overwhelm in their eyes that screamed "Get me out of here!".
"Well, lately I’ve noticed that I’m running at such a high pace, I feel like the top of my head is about to blow off".
He looked at me with a knowing look and nodded.
"Don’t worry. It’s quite common", he said. "Your problem is not that you sit around and need motivation, it’s that you’re trying to do too much."
He instantly saw the panic rise in me.
"There’s nothing I can stop doing right now. It all needs to get done", I said in a slightly anxious voice.
"Yep, I get that. But what you need to remember is that we all have 24 hours in a day, and these days everyone is busy. Not everyone is effective though, and there are a lot of people out there doing far more than you with a lot less effort," he said.
I was stunned at his frankness, but not surprised.
I was super busy, but it wasn’t like I was running the Virgin empire or anything. I knew there had to be a better way.
I sat back and took a deep breath, trying to bridge the gap between how I could possibly keep moving at this pace AND be more effective.
"The truth is, most of us are trying to do far too much with far too little", he said.
"If you really want to make gains, you need to start thinking about the activities in your day that can’t be done by anyone else, and those that can be given to others".
A glimpse of insight hit me.
"So, it’s not about doing more, but doing less?", I asked.
"That’s right. If you want to be more effective in your life (and a lot less frantic), you need to focus on what you’re good at and get other people to fill the gaps. Whether it’s about sharing school pick-ups, calling in a cleaner, or even having someone help you to get ahead financially."
"As long as you keep thinking that you can do everything yourself, you’re going to get mediocre results. You’ll be spread so thin you won’t do anything well."
"Not only that, but there are a lot of other people out there who can do things a lot better, and a lot faster than you."
I could feel the tension lifting from me already.
"The most successful people I work with – they all follow the same system", he continued.
"They build a strong team around them that makes them more effective across every aspect that’s important to them – work, relationships, finances."
"You already do this for your clients", he said.
"I saw the latest issue of the Market Essentials report that gives your readers a quick summary of the property market", pointing to the PDF link on the screen.
"Most of them are too busy with their own work to study the market like you do, so you give them the quick insights without the hassle."
"You get to focus on what you’re good at, and they can leverage your time and expertise."
The idea was starting to dawn on me.
I was already helping my clients understand the property market and where they should be investing for the best results, I just wasn’t using the same tactics in my own life.
I looked back at my new coach with an air of realisation.
I was already looking forward to how this would all come together.
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