You know those days when you work your butt off, but it feels like you have nothing to show for it?
This week was one of those weeks.
Sure, I can blame feeling under the weather. I can even blame the actual weather (it’s cold and grey and dreary.) I can blame a lazy weekend hangover.
Here’s what my problem really was…
I was working — hard — on tasks. But, none of them were important. It was all content busywork that distracted me from what would really make an impact.
In short, I did this to myself.
The thing is, I see writers (and in-house teams) do this all the time.
They write the same type of content over and over, even if it doesn’t position, doesn’t get shared, and doesn’t drive income.
They focus on detailed minutiae, like revising their blog categories (which is what I was doing) instead of moving their business forward and working on scary goals.
They spend all their energy on a small piece of the content marketing puzzle rather than doing the BIG stuff that makes a BIG impact.
And, that’s sad.
Why do we self-sabotage?
Because doing anything else is hard. It takes work. It means stepping out of our comfort zones.
Heck, it may mean admitting that what we’re doing now isn’t working.
— It’s easier to keep writing non-performing posts than to dig in, to figure out what’s not working, and to make a change…especially if there are in-house politics involved or if people feel “protective” of their work.
— It seems easier to focus on smaller writing goals than to create a BIG content asset that you can repurpose.
— It feels easier to sit behind our laptops and to check our social platforms than to prospect and to get ourselves out there.
— It’s easier to be satisfied with “meh” results than to bring in someone who can tell you how to improve and how to change your process.
— It’s easier to tweak our blog categories — something most readers won’t even notice — than to start penciling out plans for a San Diego SEO training/coaching workshop next March.
(OK…maybe that last one is just me.) :)
Busywork may calm our fears in the moment. We may feel like good little content soldiers. But, it doesn’t move us forward. It doesn’t give us the results we want. It doesn’t help us grow.
Sometimes, it even saps our energy.
Does this sound familiar?
Here’s what you can do.
Think about the things you do every day.
Do they move you (and your business) forward? Do they put zing in your step and excite you? Are you seeing results — for instance, better positions, more money, or more clients?
If that answer is, “no.” Notice that. Know that you’re not alone.
Most of us LOVE to wrap ourselves up in a busywork cocoon. It feels cozy. Until it doesn’t.
Then, you have a major decision to make…
What are you going to do about it?
You see, noticing it is a (big) part of the solution — but, it’s not the only part.
We have to take action.
Sometimes, we can do this by ourselves. In most cases, we need outside help to kick us out of our comfort zones and to help us do great things.
That’s why I’ll get called in to train writing teams. They know they need an outsider to evaluate their process and to help them get better.
That’s why people hire business coaches. They need someone to call them on their B.S. and to hold them accountable for making changes.
(And yes, it was my business coach who called me on my reluctance to get involved with video and my reluctance to hold the San Diego seminar I’ve been chewing on for three freakin’ years.)
The point is — you have options. This is something you can change. Heck, focusing on what really matters will make you feel like you’re finally moving forward.
And wouldn’t that feel great?
So, now what are you going to do?
Where are you burying yourself in busywork? What’s that one, big goal you keep thinking about — but there never seems like “enough time” to achieve it? Where are you feeling stuck and stagnant? Leave a reply in the comments and let me know!