How to Stop Doing Busywork

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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Busywork is the worst. But we all have those tasks on our lists.

Somehow we all get trapped in the cycle of tiny tasks that eat up our valuable time. And while we can’t avoid every single one of those tasks, we can learn to work smarter instead of harder.

Podcaster and author of Free Time: Lose the Busywork, Jenny Blake, joined me on Inside Scoop, to help us move from friction to flow with smarter work systems.

Here are three tips to help streamline and simplify your workflow.

1) Clarify Your Mission.

There are things you do because it makes you money and you have to do it. And there’s things that you like doing.

So you need to make time to prioritize them just because.

“What is my mission right now, whether it’s for three months, six months, this next year?” Jenny suggests asking yourself.

Getting clear on what you really want to be doing will help you prioritize what needs to be done. Doing this will make you happier, more productive, and give you more free time.

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2) Learn How to Prioritize in Service of that Mission.

Prioritizing sounds great. But how do you get started? You can’t just cancel everything in your life and start fresh.

Assess what’s going on, what can be delegated, and what can be added or dropped off your to-do list in service of your mission.

Jenny has two modes: creating something new, and growing what already exists. (And she has a lot: two books and podcasts. You can check them out here.)

A big focus for me this year has been streamlining. And resisting the urge to do more or to add more to my schedule. And, that’s hard,” she added.

It’s easy to keep adding more and more to your schedule to feel successful and productive. But that’s adding that to your day won’t help you reach your goals.

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3) Ignore Hustle Culture.

Part of why making sure your goals are clear and prioritizing what’s most important is because: You can’t do everything.

And you’ll likely get sick if you try. (I learned that lesson when my appendix burst after my first book Listful Thinking came out. It’s when I first started using the mantra, “Rest is the New Hustle.”)

“The only way I can sustain what I’m doing is to be very mindful about my health and my time. I feel like how we create things in our life and our business and work is baked into the final product. I believe that what we create will be more resonant and connected,” Jenny said.

Hustle culture will have you believe that a sign of success is being exhausted. But that’s burnout, not success. And burnout is not a prerequisite to being a success.

“And we won’t be martyring ourselves for these punctuated moments of success that really are quite fleeting in the grand scheme of things,” Jenny added.

The healthier we are, the better our work will be. For more ways to eliminate busywork from your schedule and be more productive check out our entire conversation here. And check out Jenny’s podcast here.

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BONUS FREEBIE: Want even more ways to stay organized, productive and less stressed? Click here to get access to my List-Making Starter Kit. It will boost your efficiency and get you back to doing more of the things you love.

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