Stay Productive in the Chaos

“Making your way in the world today takes everything you got…” – Cheers theme song.

When you put it like that, I see why everyone in that show was always drinking. There are more constructive ways of dealing with the stresses of being in business which is my topic this week.

Right now all 4 of the businesses I’m directly involved with are going full steam ahead, I’m in the band for a production of “The Wiz” and my Dad passed away last month. So in any life there’s much to do, always something happening and it’s not necessarily under your control or of your design.

Here’s how I feign some semblance of control – hopefully you find this useful too.

Create a Future

However you are right now (happy, frustrated, motivated, resigned) is down to what you see looming in your future. It could be what you’re looking forward to, or what you’re dreading. It could be not being able to see past a mountain of work you have ahead of you.

Firstly, you know that mountain of work? It’s not going away. You will be forever climbing that mountain so as soon as you give up there’s going to be an end to it you can start enjoying the trip. People who have a mountain of work are generally responsible for putting it there and attracting it in the first place, and that’s a good thing. Something to own and embrace.

Putting hooks in your future which call you forward is very satisfying and motivating. One way of doing this is creating and completing milestones so you can see yourself making progress. Another simple thing is colour-coding events in your calendar. Crazy huh? But at a glance I can see time I have allocated against various projects but also time I spend with my kids (yes I put that in the calendar too) and time I spend playing music with friends. It graphically shows you have a life and highlights the bits you love most.

Create a Context

But what about those tasks that simply aren’t inspiring, that you’d rather crawl under a table and sleep through? (I feel that way about web design and SEO just so you know).

Try re-framing that task in a way that speaks to you. One of our missions at Beany is providing prosperity and growth for small businesses. This is an inspiring and worthy goal, and it’s one that’s readily applicable to otherwise soul destroying (in my world) tasks like SEO and Analytics.  A new context – that what I do here will benefit people who don’t even know we exist yet – calls me into action and inspired by what that looks like.


So there’s a fine line between being busy and running yourself ragged, and a lot of it has to do with how much you’re enjoying what you’re doing. If you frame your work and family time a little differently, you might find the feeling of being rushed disappears, your focus improves and your productivity booms.