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 blame the pandemic. I can blame a yummy (but decadent) dinner hangover.

Here’s what my problem really was…

I was working — hard — on tasks. But, none of them were important. It was all busywork that distracted me from what would really make an impact.

In short, I did this to myself.

The thing is, I see freelance writers do this all the time. 

They keep working with the same type of client who doesn’t pay well, doesn’t respect their work and isn’t fun.

They focus on detailed minutiae, like worrying about social media, instead of moving their business forward and working on scary goals.

They spend all their energy on a small piece of their business 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.

For instance…

 — It’s easier to keep doing the day-to-day 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 think, “I’m not ready” and put your goals off another week (or month, or year.)

 — 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.

Busywork may calm our fears in the moment. We may feel like good little business owners. 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, more joy, 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.

The point is — you have options. This is something you can change. Even if you just have a spare 10 minutes to yourself to get things done.

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 comment and let me know!