Episode 28: Stop Being so Busy, Start a Success Plan

In this podcast episode, we’re going to be talking about stopping being so busy! We need to stop competing for this busy award. 

I used to be one of the people who were just constantly busy, but I actually think I was probably 80% busy, productive, and then probably just 20% just busy. 

Let’s have a look at how we can stop being so busy.

Here are the highlights:

{1:50} Only doing calls on certain days and time blocking

{2:18} prioritising what’s important

{2:48} Breaking down the bigger goals and tasks

{4:22} How a 90-day success plan helps you to stop being so busy

{12:11} The 8 areas of your life that contribute to your success

Check out all episodes and download worksheets – https://dawnmcgruer.com/podcast/

Connect with Dawn: 

Instagram @dawnmcgruer and @businessconsort





Web: www.dawnmcgruer.com

Welcome to episode 28 of Dawn of a new era, the Chronicles of a serial entrepreneur.

Now, in this podcast episode, we’re going to be talking about stop being so busy.  Because we need to stop competing for this busy award. Like literally, I was one of these people who was just constantly busy, but I actually think I was probably 80% busy, productive, and then probably just 20% just busy. And I think one of the things that happens is that there’s, endorphins that are released when we complete tasks and it becomes almost addictive. But the thing is, is you know, there’s no award for having a busy diary, you know, unless it’s actually doing something. I know so many people at the moment, and this is something I’m seeing a lot. Clubhouse has come along.  Now Clubhouse is consuming so much time from people and some of it will be really, really productive. You know, some of the rooms you drop in, you’re learning lots, but again, like anything, it can be addictive.  Now if you’re filling your time with going into these rooms, that’s all good and well, but we have to think about prioritising. And I just, yesterday I spoke to somebody who had been in Clubhouse for like four hours. And I said, well, you know, how’s that affecting your working day? Well, I’ve got nothing done and I’m really behind. And it started to take a toll because all of the work was backing up.  And spending time doing what you love, like spending hours in Clubhouse is great, if it’s productive. And we have to have a balance of things because being a busy fool achieves nothing.  And there’s no award if people go, oh how are you? Well busy. Well, yeah, I mean, I’m always kind of like, you know, saying this, but I actually think that now I’m not busy in the same sense.

I’m busy kind of doing the things I do like doing, but things that are uber productive. So I literally, my calendar, my diary, I just empty out. I only ever do calls on certain days. I just feel so much freer. And, I think this is one of the big things that when you are an entrepreneur, you could spend all day doing everything. You could just be doing everything, in a business and you could be thinking of every idea, but it’s about taking stock of where you are and what’s going to have the biggest impact and what’s going to have the biggest momentum and what’s going to actually change the world. So, thinking about what your priorities are and what you’re busy doing, you know, just literally de-clutter get rid of things that you just know you shouldn’t be doing.  You know, detox digitally if have to.   Allocate times that you can go on Clubhouse, you know, if this is your new guilty pleasure.

Think about what, you can actually spend your time doing. One of the things that I saw at the beginning of the year, loads of people who were saying, right, what I’m going to do is I’m going to finish this online course of bought. I’m going to do X, Y and Z. The problem with these things are, they’re just such big tasks, you know, you have to break it down. And one of the things I do is I do a 90 day success plan. It’s something that I teach in my programmes. I talk about in the Consort non stop. And again, for anyone who’s doing a qualification with us, the success plan works too. Because often when you have a big goal or big idea that you want to do, the reason that you stop is you get really excited in the beginning, but then when you start breaking down what needs to be done, then the overwhelm hits and it just becomes this weight on your mind.  

Now to do a success plan, what you have to do is write down 90 days on a piece of paper.  And what I love about it, is it’s mega for people who hate planning. So I’m not one of these people who loves planning. I like planning to a degree, but like I’m not uber structured. I like to implement and go. Like, I would definitely be one of these people who adopted the approach of, you know, implement, learn, and then evolve. I don’t kind of strive for the perfection straight away. I am a perfectionist and I want things to be right. But I know that that doesn’t work. You have to get things working. And then they’re almost dynamic.  The fact that it’s out there in the world, it’s evolving and improving and it becomes more perfect than it could ever have been because, guess what?  People are interacting with it. So, when I do a course, I do a lot of research and, I get things done. And then when I’m in, well, in the course development or immersed in it, that’s when I’m really kind of doing a lot more deeper level planning.

So how does a 90 day success plan work and how does it make you stop being so blooming busy? Well, it means that you have a focus and you think, right, okay, to move forward towards this goal, I’m going to do less. And you might be thinking, Dawn’s lost the plot. You must be crazy.  There’s so much to do. But this approach honestly works.

So, you might have like three goals. You might have like a health and wellness goal, you know, from the beginning of the year to lose weight, move more, all of that jazz. You might have a goal to get a course finished or completion or to launch something, whatever it is. I’m going to show you a really super easy way. And I would love to hear how you get on with it. So please, please, please come and connect with me. It’s dawnmcgruer.com. You’ll find all my social media on there. You’ll find the podcast, you can download it, you can subscribe to it, you can even review it if you would like to, too! And that will help me get more visible, so more people can listen to the podcast.

So, with the success plan, you write down 90 days and I use these super jumbo, sticky post-it notes, and I just pin them on the wall. And I literally go and think, right, what is the one thing I want to do? So, let’s say I wanted to move more, I wanted to lose weight I wanted to get exercise and diet. That’s just such a big task. So first of all, I would just think about, right, okay, what’s one thing that can get me a step closer to this goal in terms of achieving it, you know, smashing it and maintaining it as part of my lifestyle without going insane?  Well, you have to think about right moving more each day. And this is why things like the Apple watch and these fitness trackers are great because they’re moving you in 24 hour increments. And this is brilliant. This is why time is so essential. It helps us manage and move forward.

Now, if you have a disaster and you don’t achieve it on that day, score it out, start again.  this is the thing, you can’t just think, well, you know, I failed today. I’m going to stop. The whole project’s gone to pot. No, the success plan is a moving 90 day plan. So guess what? You fail one day, you move it forward today. It’s as simple as that.  

90 days. So you start off, day one. What’s going to get me closer? What’s going to get me moving more each day? I know, going for a walk. So I set myself a target; one hour walk a day. That’s it! One thing. One focus. And I do it. And if I can’t do it all in one, guess what? I break it down. You know, if I can only do 15 minutes here and there, but I just do it. So I try and do it in the morning, but do you know what? No one died if I didn’t do it by mid day. I’m still here and I can still walk and I can still move. So I just get up and start again.

So you’ve just got to push forward. And the laugh of it last night, actually. I was running around my landing, trying to get my Apple watch rings to close. Now, if you have an Apple watch, you will know the pain of when you are nearly there and it comes up and it says, you know, a brisk eight minute walk will bring you there and just get you to that point. Closing your rings is key. And what I like about it is you’ve got your exercise, you’ve got your movement. And also standing and moving. And this was a great thing for me, because just wearing the Apple watch, gives me little triggers to get up. But my one task is just moving every day. And you know what, it’s really cathartic just knowing you’ve got one thing and it’s going to get you nearer. There’s no way that by moving more that I’m not going to get fitter and healthier.  Absolutely.  So if I do anything more that day, all the good. Then in 90 days time, even 30 days time, I might think, do you know what I’ll up it a little bit, I’ll go for an hour and a half or I’ll do two things. So, I will basically go for a walk and maybe every like 10th day or something I’ll do something else. So you can mix it up a little bit. But the whole essence of why it works is this one day, one focus, one set of time, one set of 24 hours. And if you fall off the wagon, you climb back on and you move it forward a little bit.

So let’s say you’re looking to complete an online course. The first thing you do, day one, nothing else other than login. That is it. You might be thinking, well, that’s a bit crazy, I think I’d log in. But the whole thing is is that you’re delaying something or procrastinating over something because it’s too big. You can’t see the steps. It’s like running a marathon. I mean, goodness, that’s just huge. I mean, the thought of it makes me feel physically ill. I mean, I would love to run a marathon, but I would probably have to break it down first of all, into increments. And the thing is, it doesn’t become the marathon you’re running, it becomes the training, the fitness, and the fact that you’re running more and more. So what happens is, is even like logging in to the online course, you might say, well, I’m going to log in today. Well, you know, probably you’ll do more than that. You know, you might do a little bit more, great! But then stop. And then think the next day, what am I going to do today?

And this is the best bit, there’s no planning needed. Because the next day you think what’s the one thing that gets me closer to my goal? The one thing that gets me closer to my goal. And then you do that thing. So it can be the same thing every day. But you know, if you’re looking for different things to do, in terms of obviously, if you’re launching, you’re going to have different tasks and activities.  If you’re doing an online course there will be different things you’ve got to do.  It could be that if you’re looking to get more nutrition into your diet, instead of going on a diet, change your lifestyle and think, today I’m going to eat two pieces of fruit. Break it down to these things.  

And honestly, once you start seeing five days of progress, it becomes really cathartic in terms of, yeah, we’re seeing your wins. You’re seeing your success, you’re moving forward. And it just repositions the whole mindset. The whole feel of your motivation is changed because number one, you’ve handed the thing that was weighing your mind down. Number two, you’re moving closer to the ultimate goal.

See when people do a lot of diets and things like that, they’re going to restriction diets. And even just by calling it a diet, it just makes you think, oh my goodness, I’m on a diet. I can’t eat until dinner or whatever it’s going to be. I mean all for intermittent fasting and things like that, as long as you’re eating what you want in your actual window. Because lifestyle changes, we know, we know definitely 100% it’s proven, it’s scientific that if we can adapt things into our lifestyle, that are not actually going to be, you know, something that we feel negatively towards, of course, it’s going to be easier to pick it up and run with it.

So you see this a lot with, lifestyle things like Noom and diet apps and whatnot, or sorry, fitness apps whereby they’re not taking you on a diet of sorts. They’re thinking about your psychology around food, your nutrition, and how to add more in rather than taking more out and how to just give you a more balanced lifestyle. So for me, it’s not about like waking up and thinking, oh, do you know what I need to start running. And running is something that I’m going to start doing this year. I’m just going to think, well, I’m going to go on a walk and if I run a little bit then great, and that’s kind of how I’m starting. And then I know that when I run a little bit, because once I’ve got into my walk, probably once I’m in the zone, you know, like five, 10 minutes in, I think, oh, actually I’m warmed up a bit and maybe I’ll try a little bit of a run.  

And that’s an easier way to do it than I’m going for a run. Because the thought of that makes me feel ill. Number one, I just think I’m going to fail but number two, it’s like it’s pressure, isn’t it. So think about how you can add these things in and you know, how you can use a 90 day plan just to move forward. And it works with anything. And, and this is what I love. We use it with clients. We use it for yourself, it can work in your personal life. It can work in your house. You know, if your house is an absolute disaster and you’re going through renovations or it just needs tidying, whatever it is, and you need to declutter. Just think about a 90 day success plan for your home. In my book, I have a whole success planner, which is about doing goals for your month ahead.

And one of the things I talk about is these eight areas of your life, and these are all contributing towards you being successful. So for me, I have wellbeing, number one. So all about me, myself, at the moment I’m taking my Niacin, before I go to bed, I’m listening to my calm app and my sleep stories and I’m putting on lovely scented aromatherapy before I go to bed. And that makes such a difference. I have a bedtime reminder. I have an alarm clock to get up the next morning. And yeah, it’s all good.

Then on the family side of things, which is number two, this could be all sorts of different things to do with your family. It could be that you want to sit down and eat at the dinner table. I think especially during lockdown, we have lunch in the kitchen, we have a dinner in the dining room, and it just means that we’re using different zones in the house. And, I think there is something about setting the table and sitting down at night. That just feels a little bit more fun in some ways. I mean, some people might think that’s quite formal, so you just gotta go with the flow and what suits you, but, you know, family could be anything. Playing a board game, doing something, not watching 97 hours of Netflix and box sets or whatever you’re into at the moment.  

On the work side of things, again use this 90 day plan, what is it you really need? So, you know, quite honestly at the moment, a lot people are really concerned about income and revenue. So, how would you boost that forward? Well, easiest thing, on day one to five each day, lose a cost, reduce a cost or spread a cost. So what I mean here is if like, so you’re worried about, you know, earning money or whatever your revenue is going to be. Just have a look at it, in terms of what is, what’s the business spending?  Can you spread your tax across 12 months? Just plan to make sure that you’re putting some money away. Think about how you can work with more people. So, getting your visibility out there, every day, getting more visible, reaching more people, speaking to more people. Thinking about the target market, specifically where they hang out, how you could have a conversation, could you maybe think, you know, try and find people to go live in the group or whatever it’s going to be, that you want to think about how you change that work.

If it’s career orientated, then you’ve got to think about breaking down this massive to do list, and then thinking about them in projects.  So, what I do is, if I’ve got huge to do list, I use Trello and then I brain dump all the different projects into different lists and then all the actions for each one. And then I tag each of those actions for a day and for a person, and I try and delegate as much as possible and take on the ones that I can. And then that’s like a project management tool.  

With friends, which is number four. Then again, you might be missing people, you know, and not seeing people is really tough. And I am for sure, I miss the whole social element of seeing people having a laugh and just meeting people, new people as well. Think about going for a walk. Meet someone once a week, get into a routine and just put it in your calendar as recurring. So you don’t have to keep arranging it, just do it. Do a zoom call, have a coffee, have a chat somehow in terms of online, virtually.

On your own relationship side of things, well, if you’ve managed to get through lockdown without murdering your other half, which, could be difficult, I think, for me, for sure, definitely living in a house, with my partner, where we’re both used to traveling is difficult. But things that you can do together, have date night or do something like that. And we bought a hot tub during lockdown. So, one of the things that we do is try and finish and have a walk or maybe go in the hot tub.  

Then for money, which can be linked, you know, with your own personal finances and things like that. Think about what you’re paying yourself. If you’re an entrepreneur and a business owner, think about, are you taking the money home first? Are you the priority in the business? Cause you should be! And think about, you know, can you cut costs within there? This is not about living on a baseline. I mean, I’d certainly waste money. I would imagine in lots of people’s eyes. Cause I, you know, doing nice things or I like treats or whatever, but I don’t see it as wasteful money. Like if I ordered something for date night, the other week we ordered pizza packs whereby you made your own pizzas and you put them in the oven. And you know, I saw that it was a really, really valuable thing.  Because it was spending time together making pizzas and yeah, it was nice. It was an activity. So think about what you can save money on to do other things. And it doesn’t mean like, you know, just living in a really basic way because at the end of the day, I don’t know any entrepreneur who woke up and said, I want to work lots and lots of hours and put all my energy in and sacrifice lots of things, yes I’ll have fun along the way to spend no money. I mean, if that’s what you’re in it for great, but I personally am not motivated by that. I want to be able to have choices and money for sure does give you that.

And then in the home, as I said, home is your final one. This could be just rearranging your office space, making it more comfy, you know, doing something for you. So you have to think about your success plan in terms of breaking it down into these 90 day cycles. And just either doing one thing a day, that brings you closer to the ultimate goal. So make sure on the post-it note, you have the goal you have the 90 days and each day, think of one thing that will take you closer to it. You might end up doing more than that and closer to your goal quicker just by the fact that the sheer fact that you’re actually now planning because as soon as you step forward it’s impossible not to make progress and progress is the key.

So I hope you enjoyed this week’s podcast and I shall see you on next weeks podcast. But in between, please, please, please make sure that you come to dawnmcgruer.com. And a couple of you have joined the group already in Facebook, which is Business Consort, Marketing, Motivation, and Mindset. It’s a great group full of amazing people come and join the community and come and chat. So the podcast episodes, as I say, come out every week, but in between some of you may already have this, but my book Dynamic, Digital Marketing, it has a 90 day plan in it. So if you are struggling with really mastering the world of online marketing and social media to grow your business and you really want to excel and accelerate your career and grow that business and shine online, then Dynamic Digital Marketing is definitely the book for you. You can grab it on Amazon or you can grab it on my website dawnmcgruer.com.

So have an amazing week, take care and get going with your success plan. And I would love to know how you get on I’m sure you’re going to smash it. 

I hope you enjoyed this week’s episode and don’t forget I’m going to be with you each and every week. So download and listen on dawnmcgruer.com or on iTunes and come and join us in our Facebook community too. All the details are on the website and I’ll see you next week.

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Dawn McGruer's Marketing * Motivation * Mindset Group

Speaker. Author. Podcaster. Strategist.

Multi-award-winning speaker, strategist & best-selling author of Dynamic Digital Marketing - Helping to inspire entrepreneurs to rise to meet today’s challenges and be powerfully present to shine online.

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