Have you noticed that everyone seems so busy…maybe even “too busy?” Busy has become a badge of honor, a status symbol. I’m starting to get a little tired of being busy all the time, are you? Let’s explore what’s really going on here.
It surely does feel like there’s a lot more to do – more email to check, more events to attend, more activities to schedule – doesn’t it? And yet, there is something more to this. Have we decided that we are only valuable if we are busy and productive?
Maybe it doesn’t even matter WHAT we are doing, as long as we are always doing. (Sigh)
Is being busy keeping us from what we really want?
Sometimes I notice myself “getting busy” to avoid facing uncomfortable feelings, to distract myself from what’s really going on in my life, or to procrastinate on something that I would like to avoid handling. Admit it, we all do this.
I think that being busy and telling people and ourselves how busy we are may actually be keeping us from what we really need to be doing. You know, the things that will provide us with a genuine sense of belonging, connection, and self-worth. I think that is what most of us are seeking, right? But we hide behind being busy because we are…well, we are a bit afraid we will never get the things we long for.
Maybe our real work is in finding the courage to get less busy so we can be focusing on what matters most to our souls.
I don’t want to miss out on something better…
Maybe you are thinking “I like to be busy – it’s fun and I am doing all sorts of good things.” Consider, on the other hand, that you are so busy doing GOOD things that you may be missing the BEST things – the juicy things that make you feel most alive. Maybe you are so busy, you aren’t noticing what you are missing. Are you curious what that could be? I sure am…
Well, if you want to find out, it’s time to consider slowing down.
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~Socrates
6 practical tips for slowing down:
- Stop saying that you are “so busy.” If our thoughts create our reality…what reality are you creating?
- Stop saying “I should…” There are very few things that MUST be done. Notice where you put unnecessary pressure on yourself – does your house need to be spotless? do you tell yourself that you must drive for every field trip? do you think you need to exercise every day? Maybe all of this “should-ing on yourself’ is interfering with that you really want…just consider the possibility! Download a tool to help you ditch the “shoulds” and start doing what you want to do!
- Ask for help. You don’t need to do it alone. Sometimes we are in the habit of doing everything, but when we reflect, we see that our partners and children can pitch in.
- Get good at saying no. Can you make a list of how you want to spend your time? Get clear on what you consider to be in alignment with your values, who you are and what you want in life. Then, when asked to volunteer, go out, participate in an event, etc…you will be in a better place to make decisions that are in sync with your priorities.
- Change “I can’t” to “I won’t.” Generally speaking, if you say “I can’t, I am too busy,” you really mean “I won’t.” It’s empowering to be in control of how you spend your time. In your mind, swap “I can’t” with “I won’t” before you make a decision. It’s YOU making conscious choices about where you will and won’t spend your time. The truth is that we always make time for what we really want to do.
- Change your thinking around sleep. Sleep IS a productive and useful way to spend your time. Try to get more of it.
“Sleep is one of the most important predictors of how long you will live — as important as whether you smoke, exercise, or have high blood pressure or cholesterol…Unhealthy sleep remains American’s largest, deadliest, most costly, and least studied health problem.” ~William C. Dement, MD, PhD, Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences
What’s wrong with doing nothing sometimes?
Do you ever relax and then feel guilty about doing nothing? This guilt just puts more pressure on us and we end up over-stressed – stressed if we are too busy and stressed when we decide it’s time to relax. It’s kind of crazy, isn’t it? Let’s cut ourselves (and each other) some slack!
Slowing down might give you a chance to get to know yourself better.
But I wonder, are you feeling a little scared to slow down? Wondering if you want to face those things that you know are lurking, but you are trying really hard to avoid facing? Uh-huh, I get that.
If some feelings come up, it’s ok to face them. It’s never as bad as you think it will be. I promise that you will be able to handle anything that comes up when you decide to slow down and do less.
It’s about slowing down to hear what’s really up for you (what is true for you in your heart) and it’s about getting “in choice” so you can do the things that are important to you (so you can start enjoying THIS life right now).
The juice is in the conversation my friends…please comment below to tell me what your experience is around “being busy.” Do you have words of wisdom? Fears? Something else to share? We all want to hear what you have to say!
Namaste my friend
P.S. Slowing down includes your mind. Most of us have very busy minds – analyzing, worrying, planning, examining. Right? I know it’s true. My mind is crazy busy…but it’s (mostly) no longer busy with worry, fears, self-criticism, and judgment – usually just exciting new ideas, gratitude and joy…seriously. But it takes facing the truth and getting to know yourself again to get through the crappy over-thinking, over-analyzing, worrying, comparing, and fear-based mind stuff.
Stick with me and you will notice shifts. Please share this with a busy friend or two if you think they might like it!