Recently there’s been a revolution of sorts around the word “hustle”. Long the mantra of entrepreneurs, “hustle” has started to get a bad rap, and some folks have started waving a big white flag calling for a cease and desist.

I’m considering throwing my hat into the ring.

Last week I came out with a new book with the awesome Ken Blanchard, a mentor and leader who has changed the way I think about business (and life). We’ve worked on the book for years and its publication is a big ole’ deal to me. One Minute Mentoring: How to Find and Work with a Mentor — and Why You’ll Benefit from Being One is all about mentoring, and why mentoring matters to help you level up in life.

Book launches are big times, and they are SO chock full of the big and the little that for me it sometimes feels like it’s hard to get much breathing in. Combine a few international trips, a few speaking events, tons of press interviews, and three little kids and you’ve got a tried and true recipe for getting real overwhelmed, real fast.

If we’re being authentic (and we are), I’m close.

And it’s not surprising.

I knew it would be this way, and so for almost a year I’ve been trying to prepare for the onslaught of publication month. I knew this would be one of the busiest times I’ve had in a couple years. It’s here, and boy is it!

So what can you do in a time you know is going to be busy if you are trying to #banbusy from your vocabulary and are considering the ramifications of eliminating HUSTLE from your dictionary as well?

Here are some things I’m doing.

I’d love to hear what you’ve done, what works for you, and how you find grace for yourself in the hustle. Tell me here.

  1. I’m keeping my peak work hours sacred. If you’ve never heard of your biological prime time, it’s a game changer and in Work by Design School I teach an in-depth exercise to help you narrow down exactly when doing the day you are at your best. Ensuring you know when you’re at your best, and when you’re not, is essential to doing great work more of the time, and doing more resting and playing throughout your life. If you’ve never heard of this concept, this simple quiz will give you a glimpse. Keep in mind that the concept of doing hard work in your peak hours doesn’t work every day, because sometimes there are things that have to happen at those hours you can’t avoid, but it IS a great guide.
  2. I’m prioritizing sleep. “Oh hey I’m Claire and I sleep a million hours a night.” It’s true. I need sleep, and I need it now more than ever. Sleep is essential, and I’m reminded of this daily. Luckily, I also have someone in my life who values it as well. An hour before writing this, I was having a conversation with my husband about our schedule for tomorrow. I had to make a logistical decision about my plan for the morning, and was weighing the pros and cons. My husband summarized pretty succinctly one of the key things I teach about productivity. What did he say? Sleep in tomorrow morning, Claire. It’s better for your productivity to sleep tomorrow than to wake early and be tired all day. True that. Done.
  3. I’m doubling down on email best practices. Not hanging out in your email inbox is one of the hands-down most important things you can do to get your best work done, and to NOT get sucked into other people’s to-do lists. When you’re really busy and feel that life is going at a million miles a minute and you can’t keep up, it’s very tempting to think that if you hang out in your email inbox you can at least take a stab at getting SOME things done on time! NOT TRUE. Sitting around in there is going to make it infinitely worse. When I’m in a season of hustle, I’ve got to be disciplined and check only a few times a day in concentrated bursts. (For some other great ideas on best practices to keep the busy at bay, see this free ebook. One key strategy inside I didn’t discuss above? Spending the first 10 minutes of your day planning the next 10 hours. Check it out here.)
  4. I’m making hard decisions. This week I had to make a hard decision to put off something big I had planned. At the end of the day, I just needed more time and wasn’t ready to press GO. Yes, it was hard to pull the trigger on, and yes it will disappoint some folks, but I know what I know.
  5. I’m remembering to be vulnerable. One of the worst myths in society is that vulnerability makes us weak. It doesn’t. Instead, research shows that it actually makes us strong. This week I got some incredibly wise counsel from some incredibly wise folks about a few key areas in my life, and the only reason I got it is because I was willing to lay it on the line and be vulnerable. Can I say awesome?

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