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How to shift from “Crazy Busy” to “Ready Mode”

by Alexis Skigen Rago on

I recently attended TedXNaperville where the opening speaker, Dr. Darria Long, asked us to avoid being “crazy busy” by shifting to “ready mode” because you have implemented a plan to handle whatever is thrown your way. As an ER doctor, she has seen it all (or at least more than the rest of us have seen). Dr. Long consistently saves lives using a three-pronged approach that can be applied to our small business and our lives:

  1. Relentlessly triage
  2. Expect and design for crazy
  3. Get out of your head


The first step is to evaluate the level of care needed and triage appropriately. Crazy mode means you overreact by treating everything as a life-threatening emergency. When you triage from the get-go, you evaluate the level of care needed and assign a level (red, orange, green), with red being the most severe and time-critical, helping you prioritize and allocate resources appropriately. Addressing the reds first allows you to focus your attention where it needs to be, without letting the yellows or greens distract you. This doesn’t mean the yellows or greens are any less important, just that time is not as critical, especially if you don’t have the capacity or resources; while there may be some user pain felt, it’s not an immediate life/death situation like the reds.

Think about your business for a moment. How often are you addressing the not-as-critical items? It may be faster, easier, or quite frankly, more desirable to focus on these items, but have you asked yourself will these drive your business forward? You may need to question if you are avoiding the red items in your business, and why. Focusing on the top priorities will help your business move forward, with consistent efforts you’ll see the difference, even if those efforts are just 1% incremental growth each day.

Some people have told me they are going so fast, they just throw it all out there without a strategy in place. They aren’t alone, I’ve heard many say they’ll think about strategy when they have a chance to take a breath and think. If you are in this boat, it’s better late than never to define a marketing strategy. The longer you wait, you may notice a higher cost for your marketing efforts. Put a strategy in place, and you’ll understand if your tactics are working or not, and why.

You are where you are today because of the actions and choices you’ve made up until this point. If you want something different, you need to do something different. That may mean you need to stop certain things, dive deeper on other items, do more, try something in a different manner, or try a completely new approach or tactic.


The marketing cycle is to design, execute, analyze, optimize. Expect and design for crazy is an agile design based on insights and lessons learned from the past or others in your field. Do you encounter fire drills in your business? Have you been through a situation that was similar to a previous experience, and had you put a process in place, you would have avoided the subsequent situations? It doesn’t always have to be an emergency, perhaps there are ways to create a more efficient workflow for business tasks. What are you doing in your business to be proactive instead of reactive? This could be developing an FAQ to address your prospects’ concerns or common questions. Perhaps you are launching a new product and you can address integration benefits and how to avoid issues with your existing technology. This will help manage customers’ expectations, reduce frustration, and your chance for a smooth transition will increase resulting in higher customer satisfaction levels, not to mention happier employees instead of stressed employees during launch.


Lastly, Dr. Long shared how important it is to get out of your head. It’s easy to be derailed by your inner monologue. Perhaps you’ve heard that we are only aware of about 10% of our 50,000-80,000 daily thoughts. Here’s the part you may not know, 80% of our thoughts are negative. That’s a lot of negativity that you may or may not be aware of, and that can impede your path to success. We all need to be a bit kinder and gracious to ourselves. Would you treat your friends as hard as you treat yourself? No, so please encourage yourself as you would others. You’ll appreciate your capability, strength, resilience, ability, and self-confidence to get the job done.

As entrepreneurs, we have signed up for a busy life. It’s a lot more fun to celebrate getting through in ready mode than barely survive a crazy busy day. Marketing Mana works with business owners to navigate the busy times through strategic approaches whether you need help with marketing or building relationships with your customers. Contact us today to learn how we can help you find your ready mode.

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