Don’t be confused by the title. I admire Richard Branson. He’s created so much, seems to still be a nice person and continues to be generous with what he’s acquired. Plus I’d love to go to Necker Island one day.

But every time I see Richard Branson I get this image. That he works a handful of hours a day or maybe even a week and spends the rest of his time playing tennis, laying in a hammock on his own private island, and thinking of new ideas. For so long this image skewed my perspective of what success really looked like. And more importantly what the road to success looked like.

I can assume you’ve been exposed to the same images. Work really hard and then one day, when you’ve “made it” you get to lay on a beach all day. Until then, keep hustling.

While there are tiny aspects of that image that are accurate the whole picture is not good for you. Seeing that only the uber wealthy and supremely successful can slow down and take time off is a dangerous message. That’s why Richard Branson, and others like him are keeping you busy.

The way you’ve been viewing busy so far has been holding you back from overcoming it.

Most of our lives we’ve been not-so subtly told that busy is normal. That running around frazzled, stressed and always slightly behind is totally acceptable. We’ve been sold the fears that if we’re not busy and rushing we won’t get it all done. Things will fall through the cracks. We won’t succeed.

We’ve been told the story that if we put in enough hours and sacrifice enough for long enough eventually there will be a lounge chair with our name on it.

If you accept this misconception of busy that it’s mandatory, normal and part of the journey to success then you’ll never be free of it.

Don’t let that little fearful voice inside your head win. The one that says I NEED to work this fast and this hard or I won’t get anywhere.

Instead, know this: there is another way.

What’s on the other side? What’s the alternative to busy? (*hint: there is no lounge chair on a private island waiting for you.)

Unbusy in real life looks like: 

  • Designing a schedule that allows you to get everything done while still having time left over.
  • Enjoying your work because you’re focused and you finish it.
  • Easily staying present in your time off because you know everything will get done.
  • Confidently making daily decisions because you understand what it really takes to get where you want to go.
  • Staying healthy, happy and sane while you pursue your goals and strengthen your relationships.

There are few examples for how to live your regular life in a way that is not frantically busy. So we need to start making our own.

If you want to live a life less busy the first step is to challenge how you view busyness.
If you want to live a life less busy the first step is to challenge how you view busyness. Click To Tweet

Start in your own life. All you have to do this week is look at your schedule, exist in your day and believe that there is another way to do things that will still help you get things done and achieve your goals. Start imagining it, even if there are gaps in your imagination just start picturing what it could be like. Start feeling the feelings. Because honestly the people who don’t believe it’s possible just keep making excuses for the rest of their busy lives.

Expand your imagination of what’s possible. Begin opening your mind and changing your language and you’ll be well on your way.

To sum it up – the old way of thinking about busyness didn’t get us anywhere. To truly change you’ve got to understand your own busyness and the foundational shifts to overcome it. You’ve been trained in busyness your whole life. The depth of this topic goes way beyond simple hacks or “saying no” more.

You’ve taken the first step today, but if you want to begin your process of understanding your own busyness then join me for my free class Dismantling Busy on January 19th.

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Hey, I'm Katie! I'm an author and daily life designer who teaches millennial women how to approach their daily lives in a way that is sustainable, effective and filled with ease. When I'm not hanging out with my dog Watson, traveling or chilling out with a rerun of Mad Men you can find me interacting with my Break Free From Busy Bootcamp students or sharing daily life strategies for the driven, but busy. Connect with me over on Facebook and Instagram.