Hacks for Surviving Busyness - Sage B. Hobbs

Okay, so I’m not a big fan of the word busy.  I prefer to use the word full.  It feels more accurate for me, and more positive and empowering.  Busy feels exhausting. 

Busy seems to have become a badge of honor in our hustle culture… as if being busier than other people makes your life more important or meaningful.
If we’re not busy, what are we? Lazy? 
All of this is just my own opinion, take it or leave it.  

However, even I am willing to admit that some moments in life are simply busier than others.
And while the fullness may be a result of wonderful experiences in addition to the less-than-joyful necessities of adult life… It still feels busy.

In the last three weeks

  • My husband defended his doctoral dissertation (and, thankfully, passed!)
  • I flew to Nevada for 4 days for work.
  • I chaperoned 40 kids for an outdoor education adventure (which was super fun despite very little sleep, a foot of wet snow, and poison ivy!)
  • I watched  my 73-year-old-non-singing mother perform in a live concert (brave!)
  • My in-laws stayed with us to attend my husband’s graduation ceremony (which was disrupted by political protests and the subsequent need to explain the complicated nature of the world to my kids.)
  • We hosted a Mother’s Day brunch in our little house instead of our big yard (because of pouring rain.)
  • My “baby” boy turned 15! And so more celebrations ensued.
  • My daughter is wrapping up elementary school, which means countless field trips, final concerts and events (and emotional transitions!)
  • I’m flying out to my 25th college reunion (again, so fun, but my 4th trip in 4 months)
  • And, of course, coaching amazing clients, sharing with my community, onboarding a new team member (welcome Gracie!), and designing curriculum for our upcoming Principal Leadership Cohort.

So, how do we manage it all and not fall apart?

I have a few hacks that help me survive life’s busiest seasons.  I share them with you and with my clients (and constantly remind myself along the way), so that we can navigate all of the busyness… because a full life can (hopefully) also be a beautiful life.

And, the more you lean into your own leadership, the more full your life may become.

  1. Keep assessing your priorities.  Be crystal clear about what matters most to you at this moment.  What is a must, a would-be-nice, and a not-now?
  2. Sleep and water.  Sounds super simple, but for me these both fall into the “must” category.  Sleeping less does not help me produce more when life is busy.  
  3. Ask for help.  Most of the leaders I know, myself included, could do this much more often.  Maybe the help is emotional, like asking a friend to listen to you vent over a cup of chai.  Maybe it’s strategic, like seeking out a mentor or colleague to brainstorm and problem solve.  Maybe it’s logistic, like delegating tasks or chores.
  4. Think outside the box.  Ordering my groceries online, then picking them up at our local store, has saved me hours each week.  It’s the little things.
  5. Use your calendar.  And make sure your team and your family are in the loop also, so that you’re not shouldering all of the burden for remembering All Of The Things.

If life is feeling *%#!! (full, crazy, busy, overwhelming), please pause.
Please, please, please pause for just a moment to reground and recalibrate.

We need your brilliant leadership now more than ever.
We don’t want you to bust from busyness and burnout.

My newest favorite thing:
My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry by Fredrik Backman.
You all know that I’m a lover of books, particularly fiction with wonderful characters.  I actually listened to this book, which is unusual for me, and I loved the voice of the young narrator.  This story dealt with grief so beautifully, something I’ve needed support with in recent years.  It also had bold, strong, counterculture female characters who made me laugh.