For When Busy Rules Your Life
Reality: busy is the new normal.
Whether we like it or not, this buzzword has swept our world as a more polite way of saying “I’m important and my life matters.” Am I right? How many times do you ask someone how things are going or how they are and they reply with “really busy”? How many times do you reply with that?
Now don’t get me wrong, we ALL fall into this trap. I am guilty too of saying I’m busy while subconsciously I’m thinking that I’m more important because my schedule is jam packed and I work 80 hours a week and that what I’m filling my time with matters. I use the word busy to describe how I’m doing when that’s not ACTUALLY how I’m doing.
The last few years I’ve been more aware of this and came to realize that actually what “I’m busy.” means is “Life is happening to me and there’s nothing I can do about it.” or “How could I possibly fill my time if I'm not busy.” or “Everything in my life is urgent AND important and there’s nothing I can get rid of or say no to.” or “I’m so unorganized I just don’t know what to do.”. These are legit things I’ve heard more than once from multiple clients and friends of mine.
The purpose of this post is not to make anyone feel bad about being busy or using the word busy all the time. The purpose is to give you some truth-bombs to hopefully inspire you to think differently about being busy and saying you’re busy all the time. Also, note that there are times of genuine busyness. It does happen. It is rare but it is real. This is not for those times. It’s for the 98% of the time where busy is not actually a part of your life.
Here are 19 truth-bombs about being busy and how to deal:
Busyness is a sign of mental laziness and lack of planning. Oh yes, I did just hit you with the most intense one first. Here’s the deal, we all have a choice on what we do or don’t do. Being busy is a choice. When we allow life and other people to dictate our schedules before we get a chance to, that’s just us being a little lazy and not planning very well. It’s ok, it happens to the best of us, really. Instead, take some time out of your busy schedule to actually schedule life and schedule time to do nothing. Be proactive.
Busy is not an answer to “How are you doing?”. Busy has become the new “I’m fine thanks.” When we say “busy”, what kind of message does that send out the world and ourselves? Focus on what you enjoy about what you do in the spaces in between the doing instead of feeling way down by it all.
Busyness means you have a noisy brain. Being busy shows all that we are thinking about not all that we are necessarily doing. It means our brains are noisy and we can’t think with clarity. More times than not this can be fixed with single-tasking instead of multitasking and time/task blocking instead of a random to do list of things.
Busyness does not mean we are more important than other people. Like I mentioned earlier, we often use busy to reveal to people that we are much more important than they are. What our schedules look does not make us more important than someone else. That’s not the way things work.
Busy is a form of procrastination. Being busy is not an excuse for putting things off until the last minute and rushing around. This goes back to the “lack of planning” I mentioned earlier. Everyone has 10-15 minutes at the beginning of each to plan better.
- Busyness makes you forget about your most prized possessions in this life. Your incredible mind, body, and soul. Without a healthy + thriving mind, body, and soul, what is life? You can’t accomplish anything. And for dang sure your mind and body are irreplaceable, so when we don’t take care of them, we do not have life. It’s important to take the time to love and care for yourself. Self-love, self-respect, and self-care should be non-negotiable in your life. It should be a part of how you remain successful, fulfilled and happy. Taking time for yourself is not being lazy, it’s being smart.
fBusyness is not an excuse for not pursuing what you want in life. Constantly convincing ourselves how busy we are is a convenient way to avoid the things we don't want to push ourselves to do. How we spend our time is a choice. If your dreams are important to you, you will make time. You are never too busy for your true desires and values.
Busy work is not always high impact work. When we’re busy, we often confuse motion for progress. Since we are doing all sort so things, it must be moving us forward in this thing we call life, right? Not always. Sometimes things are doing is moving us backward from where we want to be. Focus on things you can do that will move the needle forward and have a higher impact on your beautiful life, your dreams, and the world and drop the things that just don’t really matter.
Busy doesn’t mean everything we are doing is important. We think everything we are doing is super urgent and important but in reality, many things can intentionally and purposefully be put off to a later date.
Busy looks different for everyone. Sometimes when people say they are busy, it means they have a day job, a puppy, and have to run errands twice a week at night. Other times it may mean they work 2 jobs as a single mom to support their 3 kids while taking them to their sports practices, cooking dinner, etc. Neither is wrong, it’s just important to know that it’s a relative term.
Busyness makes you forget to notice the small things and the little moments. Many say life is often lived in the small parts and the little moments and I think there is a lot of truth to that. Do you notice when your spouse gets a new hair cut, or when your grandma has on a sweater that really brings out her eyes, or when your kids learn a new fun fact about this amazing world? Maybe not. While it’s nearly impossible to fully notice and be present with every moment of life, it’s a crime not to notice and be present in a majority of life.
Busyness makes life pass you by. And you don’t even notice until you look up. Life is happening all around us and when we don’t take the time to be present and really watch life, it goes on by.
Busyness makes it hard for people to take us seriously. If you want to be taken seriously, stop telling yourself and those around you how busy you are all the time. Instead of telling people how busy you are, tell them what's going on in your life. You will have a better connection and a better conversation. AND, they will be refreshed and inspired to hear what’s really going on with you.
Busyness makes you inefficient and ultimately ineffective. Being busy is often very inefficient. How many times did you leave the house to run errands in the last week? Could that have been done in one trip? And don’t even get me started on multitasking and how inefficient that is.
- Busyness blurs your vision, your dreams, and your desires. We work too hard to keep your nose to the grind then when we look up we kinda forget where we are and where we are going. I don’t want this to be you! Stay focused and build in time in your schedule to dream, to desire, to visualize, and to give your future the time, energy and focus it deserves.
Busyness means you’re probably not in alignment with your why. Our “why” is arguably the most important motivator and driver in life that you’ll ever have. Whatever your why in life may be, I’m pretty sure being busy is not a part of it.
Busyness causes your friends to quickly become acquaintances. Ooph! When I unconsciously let busy into my life, this happened real quick. Our (kind) relationships are how we engage in the world and build meaningful and lasting connections. We need other people in our lives to help guide us, teach us, support us, shape us, and develop us into the person we are striving to be. Friends and family get pushed to the bottom of our list and fly out of our minds when we are busy.
- Busyness puts your physical health at risk. Being in ‘fight or flight’ mode and stressed constantly will lead to a lot of health problems down the road. Trust me. At the age 23 (yes, only 23!) I started seeing the devastating side effects from putting my body through constant stress for years.
Busyness wastes time. This is the biggie. What do all of these truth bombs have in common? That busyness is ultimately wasting your precious time. We are contaminating the time that we have in this life to fill it with a bunch of unorganized and chaotic craziness.
We are here to tell you that life does not need to be like this. Busy does not have to be the norm. Busy does not have to mean someone is more important than someone else. Busy is a choice that we make. How do you want to move forward?
Love you to pieces, Taylor