80% Busy: Part 2

How to tame your schedule and go from stupid busy to stupid happy

I’m not going lie.  It took awhile to go from miserable burnt out fuck to happily functioning at 80% busy.  Here’s how I did it.


My recovery from burn out, required learning to let go.  During the early years of running my business I felt like I needed to control everything.  But control is an illusion.  It breeds mistrust and its exhausting.

A better place to put your energy is helping others succeed.

When I hire someone today, I want them to do their job better than I could.  This is not about ego.  If they are successful, the business succeeds and I have more time.

The old, burnt out Ian would try to do everything himself.  The 80% busy Ian now focuses on teaching and empowering.  This was a major shift for me.  And it was extremely liberating.

I used to directly manage 30 people.  Today its one.  And she works part time.

Time is more important than money

I like making money.  Always have.

But what’s the point of making a bunch of money if you’re always stressed out and don’t have time to spend it?

The structure of both of my businesses today is designed to maximize my freedom while still allowing me to earn a nice living.

Its not complicated.

In short, I have a lot of working partners throughout my two businesses.  In every single case these partners started as entry-level employees who worked their way up the ranks.

Business partnership can be tricky.  Despite the pitfalls I still believe in them.  The dozen or so employee owners in Ian’s Pizza bust their ass to make the business successful.  Because our interests are aligned it means I spend less time checking their work and wondering if they are motivated.

More free time.  Less stress. Cha-Ching.

Chasing buffalos

Being 80% busy means thinking about my return on time (ROT).  Yeah, it’s a lousy acronym, but you get the point.

A few years ago, I calculated how much my time is worth.  It was a great exercise. Having a number in my head has made a big difference in what activities I choose to pursue.  I used to spend a ton of time killing myself to make a few bucks or save a few bucks.  Today, I’m much more focused on the cost of my sanity and time.  If there isn’t a clear upside to the activity I’m considering, I don’t do it.

Of course, I don’t just pursue activities based on financial return.  There’s a lot of stuff I choose to do, simply because it brings me joy.  These activities reduce my stress and actually give me more energy.


That’s it.

I know.

Easier said than done.


Need help figuring out your own 80% busy strategy? Send me an email.

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