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  • Writer's pictureHeather Lloyd-Martin, ACC

Are Stupid Tasks Sabotaging Your Business Success? Try This...

Do you feel like you’re constantly working on busy work tasks, and there’s never time to work on your big goals and dreams?

The mindless tasks get done, but the deep work…not so much.

Here’s why I’m asking…

Recently, I decided to shut down my two Facebook SEO copywriting groups and move everything to LinkedIn.

I didn’t make the decision based on metrics or engagement. I released the groups because posting there felt like non-essential busy work that was holding me back.

I’d spend hours writing a LinkedIn newsletter — and turn around and write a 30-second Facebook post to feed the social media machine.

I realized that for me, posting on LinkedIn is deep work. That’s where I connect and think.

Posting on Facebook is busy work. It feels like a “should.”

I don’t know about you, but I’m tired of running my life and business based on what I “should” do.

I’m doing things the Slow Branding way — and focusing on what feels authentic for me.

Many mid-career professional women — especially business owners — live a life of “shoulds.”

Those “shoulds” burrow into your brain, causing you to feel like you’re doing something wrong if you even consider doing something different.

You dive into busy work because it helps you feel in control — even if the busy work works against you.

Some tasks are known as busy work black holes (email is my busy work nemesis). But there are other, deeper ways you trick yourself into thinking you’re moving forward…when actually, you’re making your life harder.

For instance:

  • If revenues are down and clients aren’t clamoring for services, taking on more work for less money, working longer hours, and marketing the same way is busy work. Restructuring your offer, changing your pricing, and finding the opportunity (because there’s always an opportunity) is deep work.

  • If you’re just starting a business, getting hung up on a DIY website and spending hours tweaking your LinkedIn profile is busy work. The deep work is diving into your messaging, determining your unique value, and developing Zone of Genius packages that bring you joy – and big profits.

  • If you want recognition as a thought leader, randomly commenting on people’s LinkedIn and Instagram updates is busy work. Taking a step back from posting, deciding who you want to serve, and learning how to help them is deep work.

It’s the difference between busy work that keeps the “you’re not doing enough” fear at bay — and doing deep work that helps you reach your goals, feel fulfilled, and be successful.

And sometimes, you feel like you don’t deserve success — and that's why you drown yourself in busy work.

So, you put your happiness on hold, say “whatever” in pure Gen X fashion, and feel dissatisfied — because going for true happiness feels terrifying.

You focus on busy work because deep work and going for what you really want is hard. The results aren’t immediate.

Plus, you don’t know what you’ll find when turning over those busy work rocks. What you used to love may not serve you anymore. And that can be scary.

Sometimes, it’s not until you do the deep work and burn it all down that you see the shifts happen and the darkness lifts.

Those shifts were waiting for you all the time. There was just too much busy work and old programming in the way.

That’s why coaching can be so transformative. It’s not about learning a task. It helps you move past what’s holding you back and recalibrate yourself for the life you want now.

So how do I feel now that I’ve made my Slow Branding decision and let Facebook go?

As a 25-year SEO content marketer, I know that shutting down a social channel is a big deal. Those followers won’t necessarily move to my LinkedIn group. It could mean less traffic to my website and less money.

It felt a little freaky for a couple of days. The fear-based marketer in me kept reminding me how I could “go back” to Facebook any time I wanted.

But I couldn’t deny how free I felt – and how much more mental bandwidth I had.

I had no idea how much it dragged me down until I let it go.

You can have that feeling too.

This week, think of one busy work thing you’re doing that’s keeping you from the deep work you WANT to do.

You don’t have to change anything. Just notice when you feel obligated to complete a task instead of inspired to complete it.

Often, once you start noticing the busy work that drags you down, it makes it easier to prioritize the deeper work you want.

And finally, focus on what feels fun and authentic for you.

Are you ready to pivot your brand (and mindset) and become the badass you've always known you could be? Contact me, and let's talk next steps.

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