How Busy Are You Really?

by Aug 28, 2018

Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” Socrates

Have you become one of the “busy” people? Rushing to get ready in the morning, rushing to get the kids dressed and lunches made, rushing to get out of the door to work?  Rushing to finish to get home but never finding enough time for family, no time for fun or you time, constantly on the go but ultimately having the feeling that you are spinning your wheels?  “Busy bragging” has become a phenomenon in our culture as we don’t want to appear lazy or less busy than our peers.

That feeling of always being busy also means we are not open to being present and missing out on opportunities.  We may also be so used to embracing the busy mindset that we subconsciously use it as an excuse for not getting things done and avoiding actual problems.  You may also equate patience with complacency and subsequently that feeling of “needing” to be busy may override taking the time required to consider all options of an issue.

‘Crazy-busy’ is a great armour, it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we’re feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us. – Brene Brown

A lot of what slows us down and brings that feeling of “busy” is simply a lack of a simple system and routine.  Before you can bring order and take back your time you need to take back control of what things draw on your time and attention.

10 ways to break free of the “busy” culture

  1. Track your time for 3-weekdays and one weekend day.  This will be very revealing and a great snapshot of where your time is spent and on what.
  2. Plan ahead. Make lunches, lay out clothes and pack backpacks the night before.
  3. Prioritize. Learn to say “yes” during personal time only to the things that bring joy to you and your family.
  4. Focus and act purposefully and mindfully.  Concentrating on the task at hand will keep you focused and help you get things done faster.
  5. Spend 20 minutes the night before and create a to-do list for the following day.
  6. Set specific email and social media breaks during the day and stick to them.
  7. Declutter your to-do list. If you find you are not getting certain items done considering reprioritizing those items or drop them.  If they were important to you would have gotten to them already.
  8. Stop talking about being busy! Change your mindset.
  9. Stop multi-tasking during downtime. Recharge and reset during downtime and practice real self-care during downtime.
  10. Outsource and delegate.

Being busy is not necessarily a negative, but you should be aware of what specifically is making you busy and consciously choose for yourself what you spend your time on.  Taking a little extra time and planning what makes you busy will keep you in control and help you be more productive.