March 2014
Vol 7, Issue 3       
Creative Coaching Group
 the Creative Coaching Group newsletter

Dear ,

Jan Carley square Hi! My name is Jan and I am a Busyholic.  Can you relate?

Thinking back, I may have firmly cemented the over-subscribed way of working in my former 25 year career working in theatre, where we all were consistently under-resourced and over-worked and yet managed, somehow, to pull off miracles and get the show open on time.

I found out the hard way that transferring that style to running my own coaching business wouldn't serve me so well.  I had to find a new way of being. Knowing that many of my clients suffer the same illness, I created a 12-Step program to ease the stress. (see the feature article below)


 Jan Carley BA, CEC, PCC  

Professional Certified Executive Coach   

Creative Coaching Group 

Feature Article: The 12-Step Program for the Busyholic

Are you a busyholic? Our 21st century culture has developed and perpetuated the crazy notion that 'busier' has more value.   We have been sucked into believing that we must not be doing much if we are not overextended and stressed out. Renowned author and speaker Robert Holden, in his book

Success Intelligence

, calls this state of 'competitive busyness' an illness.  Many of us have gotten so used to being in a constant state of 'doing' that we have forgotten there is any other way. We have forgotten what just 'being' feels like. 

Consider kicking your busyholic habit by working through the 12-Step program below. These steps don't have to be sequential - but are 12 components that will help provoke thought and give you some clear direction and ways to help move you out of the busyholic state.


STEP 1  Stop and Breathe

Feel the immediate shift you get by simply breathing in a deep and conscious way. 

Get present right here, right now.  Close your eyes and take several long, slow, deep breaths that originate from your belly.  Feel the shift.


STEP 2  Remember a Non-Busy Time

With your eyes closed to help you stay focused, do some personal reflection and

take your mind to a time when you did not feel busy.  Use all of your senses and remember how you felt in that non-busy time. Draw a vivid picture in your mind. How did your body feel? Your shoulders?  Your head?  What images do you see?  What sounds do you hear? 


STEP 3  Identify the Gap

Identify the differences in how the busy vs. non-busy states feel.  What would change for you if you were not busy?  How would your life be different? Paint that picture for yourself. Give yourself clarity and imbed your new possibility by writing down or drawing an image of what it would mean for you if you did not feel busy.  

STEP 4   "Just the Facts, Jack!"
To shift from a busyholic state, you first need to know the reasons for your current oversubscribed condition. If you identify and name everything in your mind and on your plate it will take the charge out of them and allow you to feel calm and in control again.  Click here to download your Just the Facts Jack PDF worksheet and take a few minutes to do a brain download list of everything crowding your schedule and your life. No judgment here  - "Just the Facts Jack!"


STEP 5   Acceptance - "I am a busyholic"

Does your "Just the Facts Jack" list help you understand why you are in a busy/overloaded state?  Take a moment to acknowledge the facts. For whatever reason, however you got this way, you are currently a busyholic.  Acknowledging that reality will take the charge out of it.  It really does help.  Say it out loud  - "I am a busyholic".


STEP 6   Understanding the Why and How

How did you become a busyholic? Is being busy what you always have done or did a few life things happen to  spiral you out of control?  Have a little awareness talk with yourself to identify the reasons for the busyness pattern in which you are immersed.  All of this is about understanding, without self-judgment.

STEP 7   Control Awareness Grid

To take you to another level of awareness, get specific and determine just how much of your 'Just the Facts Jack' list (the things you identified as contributing to your busy state) is in your active control.  Label each item on your 'Just the Facts Jack'List as follows:

N - totally NOT in your control

P - POSSIBLE Options: The circumstance is not in your control, but how you deal with it has possibilities and is in your control (eg/ your house needs cleaning.  The circumstance is fixed, however, how you deal with it IS under your control - e.g. / hire someone, create a family duty roster, do it yourself etc.)

- I CHOOSE: Something that is totally in your control, it does contributes to your busyness but you choose to do it. (Eg/ I choose to go to the gym 4 X per week)


What do you notice about the allocation of items on your list?  What awareness do you now have?


STEP 8   Taking control  

 Click here to download your CLD LIST to effectively and unemotionally deal with all of the stuff that is before you right now.  It is a calm and practical way to allocate your 'Just the Facts Jack' Busyness List  into 3 columns: CRITICAL, LIKE TO DO, or DEFER

C - CRITICAL: Urgent and important  high stakes activity, high stakes areas  that are keeping you busy - pressing problems, deadline driven projects. Critical things that will create serious fall out or consequences if they are not attended to.

L -  LIKE TO DO:  A bonus column for those non-urgent things or areas you would like to complete or attend to sooner than later.

D- DEFER : Your rainy day column for those things or areas with no pressing need to attend to immediately. Those "down the road" items.


STEP 9   Allocation Analysis

Now that you have carefully allocated your CLD list are you surprised at what /or how much landed in each column? If the bulk of your stuff is in the centre column you have a healthy understanding and perspective on the importance of the things that are keeping you busy. By calmly allocating items into a column other than "critical" do you feel lighter or less panicked?  And as your D - DEFER column fills up can you mentally let it go - now that those are items are on a list? Reflect on your CLD list and ask if you would like to shift anything to a different column.


STEP 10   Self Care  

Put self care in your C - critical column. That is where it belongs. When you are taking care of yourself you can actually do more, be more, serve more and contribute more.

It is like the oxygen mask on the airplane - there is a reason they tell us to put on your own mask before you assist others - if you are dead, you cannot help anyone else.  The same thing applies here. If you look at your calm allocation,  and move items from your C list to your L or D list, the self care space will open up for you.  


STEP 11   Reconnect with your Big Picture Vision

Take some time to reflect and create your big picture vision. When you get clear on your big picture and purpose, it becomes so much easier to decide what is critical, what can wait, and what can fall off the list. In the absence of a vision, everything can appear critical.  Some reflection questions to get you started visioning:  If anything were possible for my life, what would it be? What would be there? What would it look like? How would I Be? How would I feel?  How would I be contributing?


STEP 12  Empowerment  

Finally, you get to choose. You can make a choice of how busy you want to be knowing how much control you  have and what the most important things in your life are.  What will serve you and yours the most and in turn will allow your deepest possible contribution to the world? You choose.  


Lightbulb of the Month

blue lightbulb


"Success comes from saying no to 1,000 things to make sure we don't get on the wrong track or try to do too much. We're always thinking about new markets we could enter, but it's only by saying no that you can concentrate on the things that are really important."

-- Steve Jobs, Apple Co-founder
Book a VIP Strategizing Day with Jan    
A unique opportunity for a one-on-one exclusive intensive VIP coaching day with Jan. It's an opportunity to connect with your big picture vision, and strategize to create a personal path that vaults you to where you want to go  and takes you to the next step with the concrete planning in place to get you there.  This is a big commitment - you will work hard and reap the rewards. You will be heard,  you will dream - and Jan will coach you to make sense of it all.


Your Fee :  $797 plus gst   (for a 6 hour day of coaching with Jan plus pre-work and follow-up) 

Location: Vancouver, BC   Date: mutually arranged  

email Jan for more information:

 Out of town and want the same opportunity? We can make it work electronically. Email Jan to chat about the possibilites.  


About Jan Carley

Jan Carley is a Professional Certified Executive Coach credentialed with the International Coach Federation. She specializes in coaching high-achieving individuals and teams to focus and clarify their vision and leverage their signature strengths to maximize their performance potential. She is Associate Faculty of the renowned Royal Roads University Executive Coaching Program and a certified facilitator of the Strength Deployment Inventory TM. 

3rd edition of Jan's book  

Jan's popular book, Harmony from the Inside Out, has been acclaimed worldwide and this 3rd edition includes a bonus 50-page Action Guide download. Purchase the book online at


Jan lives in Vancouver, BC, Canada, and is available for individual & team coaching, workshops and speaking engagements worldwide.  PCC logo

Contact Jan at 604 873-1763 



Quick Links
Jan' Coaching Company Creative Coaching Group
Jan's work with BarbershoppersInner Coach of Barbershop
Jan's popular bookHarmony From the Inside Out
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