The other day I was in the book store hunting for some new Christmas stories. Since the New Year is fast approaching, the front display was full of planners for 2017. As I walked by, I stopped and stared at the one in this picture. “I AM VERY BUSY.” it screams.
I wanted to take them all off the shelf and ask the manager to please send them back wherever they came from. We need to stop being busy. We need to stop wearing being busy like an honor badge.
You know what I’m talking about.
More often than not, when you ask a girlfriend how she is, her answer is ‘busy’ or ‘so busy’.
When you’re making plans to get together with someone, one of you says ‘I’m just so busy right now.’
When your husband or your kids want you to spontaneously go and do something fun (or at least that’s fun for them) you pass because you’re just ‘too busy’.
Being busy has become the norm for so many women. But being busy is also exhausting and usually not a lot of fun. When your moments are filled from when you first open your eyes until you fall into bed exhausted, there isn’t a lot of joy in the experience.
It’s time to end the busyness. I’m starting a stop being busy revolution!
How Are You Being Busy?
If you’re ready to join me in this revolution, the first step is to get clear on what you want to be spending your time on.
Think about what you:
- love to do
- are working towards in your life goals
- must do to keep life on track
- have agreed to take part in with others
Be clear about what commitments you are you are making to yourself, your partner, family, friends and colleagues.
The next step is to take a look at what you are spending your time on.
The easiest way to know what you are spending your time on is to write it down. Write down everything you do for a week. You may wish to keep a small notebook in your purse or pocket. You may wish to keep a file on your phone. Whatever works for you.
After a week, look at your notes. Are you spending your time doing what you love, working towards your life goals and keeping your life on track? Are you living up to your commitments to yourself and the people in your life? What else are you doing?
Being Busy Doing Busywork
Odds are, some (or maybe a lot) of your time is full of busywork. Busywork is work that you are doing that has little value in your life. It’s the hours on pinterest pinning recipes you’re not going to make and crafts you are never going to do. Busywork is also volunteering for activities you don’t enjoy or receive benefit from and doing things for others when you don’t even know they want it done.
Although it may sound selfish at first, letting go of these busywork tasks is very important for your mental health and long-term enjoyment of life. When you let these tasks go, you create space and time in your life. That’s space and time that can be put towards activities that do bring you joy and move your life forward. Or it can be space and time for simply just being, without being busy.
Putting An End to Being Busy
Once you see what you are spending your time doing and what you no longer wish to spend time doing, you can begin to make some changes in your life. Let go of the tasks you’ve taken on that are not important. Spend some time doing what brings you joy and moves your life forward every day.
While you’re letting go of being busy, there’s one last change to make. It is to choose your words carefully. The next time someone asks you how you are, consciously stop yourself from answering ‘busy’. Answer something more truthful instead.
I often say “I’m good. My life has been full of amazing experiences lately.”