It has been more than a month since I last posted something to the blog. Indeed, the past six weeks have been quite busy for me. I was promoted at work, I drove home to visit my family, I celebrated Easter out of town and I went to Miami for my roommate’s birthday. Oh! And last week our Board was in D.C. for a weekend of meetings and events. As the adorable notebook in the picture above suggests, I’ve been very busy. Too busy, in fact, to make time to write any new content for Ello Mino Pea—at least that’s what I’ve been telling myself.
(Although, I have most certainly made time for happy hour, binge watching Chewing Gum on Netflix and naps!)
What actually seems to be happening is me finding comfort in busyness as a distraction and an excuse not to do something of which I am afraid. Being too busy is a wonderful excuse not to take risks, try new things or put oneself in a position to fail. And like many people, failing is one of my biggest fears, along with bedbugs and being trapped inside public transportation.
I would say that I am in a pretty stable place in my career. I think that I’m well beyond some of the scarier things of becoming a professional and building the foundation for a successful career. I’m good at my day job and I fancy myself an expert in my area. My colleagues believe in me and my boss supports my work. Outside of troubleshooting the occasional challenge and taking on new responsibilities, I’d even go as far to say I am comfortable where I currently stand.
This blogging thing is very scary though. My audience knows little to nothing about me, and I am still in the process of proving that I know what I’m talking about. So each time I click the publish button, I feel a rush of anxiety and the fear of being judged or labeled an imposter. (I also worry about spelling errors because I self-edit…yikes!) Instead of facing those fears these past few weeks, I’ve been playing the busy card.
I have two perfectly lovely blog posts that need to be published. I have already pulled the content together for one and had an interview for the other. But I’ve been telling myself I’m too busy to finish them up instead of carving out the time to ready them for the public. Shame!
Today, I took a beat to do some reading to try to explain this behavior and stumbled upon some good articles on the concept of being too busy, procrastination and identifying and overcoming fear. I am sharing those articles below, along with a few takeaways of my own. If you think you may be dealing with a similar issue, consider doing some reading below, face your fears and get back to work!
Loren, girl! You’re not too busy…you’re just nervous. Do these 5 things to help!
- Identify what you’re afraid of and then work to eliminate that fear. Example: Afraid to take that speaking engagement? Maybe it is your fear of delivering speeches to large crowds. Take a public speaking seminar or invite your friends over for a DIY Toastmasters Event.
- Block small chunks of time on your calendar and commit to doing the thing you’re avoiding. You can’t cry busy if you have planned to write for 30 minutes a day for a week. By the end of the week, you could have one or two blog posts done, with plenty of time to have a friend edit.
- Reach out to your friends and mentors for inspiration. I have a handful of friends who are currently taking on similar side hustles and blogging projects. These women are parents, planning weddings and juggling the demands of their day gig and personal life just like me. They aren’t doing it all but they’re giving it their best! They are sure to have encouraging words (and can use some motivation at times also).
- Define success and celebrate small victories. When I first started this blog, my goal was to post once a week. I did that for two months! I should go back and read those posts as a reminder of what I’m capable of when I face fear, combat self-doubt and commit to writing on a schedule.
- If you really are feeling overwhelmed by responsibilities, decide what you can move off your plate to make room for the work that is important to you.
You can’t be called an imposter if you really know your stuff! So…ABL…Always Be Learning! Pick up a book, read an article, consult an expert and keep it pushing!
Try these articles if you’re feeling afraid or want to combat the illusion of busyness:
- Statistics Show You’re Not as Busy as You Think (KPRC Houston)
- 14 Ways to Conquer Fear (Forbes)
- 14 Ways You Can Overcome Procrastination (Forbes)
- Why Multitasking Will Derail Your Business (Inc.)
- Being Too Busy is a Myth (Tech, Money, Kids)
And here are two episodes from two of my favorite podcasts that remind me that I can’t do it all…but I can try really hard: