Your best friend called wanting to connect… “Any chance we could meet for dinner this week?  I haven’t heard from you in a while and I’m concerned about you.” 

“I’m so sorry… I can’t.  I’m so busy.”

Your New Year’s Resolution is to exercise three times a week with friends – for the workout and social aspect.  One of your walking buddies called… “We missed you last week, are you OK?”

“I’m so sorry…  I can’t make it again.

You promised yourself you would take 30 minutes each morning… to meditate, pray, journal.  So far you have only managed to do it twice… in the last three weeks. 

“I’m so busy.  I don’t have time for that too.”

Are you really that busy or is that your automatic response?  Is that what you have become accustomed to telling yourself… and others?

Has Busyness Become Your Badge of Honor, or Your Way of Life?

It’s something to give serious thought to, especially when an overworked, over committed lifestyle can have a detrimental impact on your health, happiness, and relationships.  When you have no “white space” on your calendar for what matters most to you and when you have “no life” outside of work, it might be time to confront the profound burden busyness can have on the overall quality of your life.

The Busyness Badge is a Myth

By telling others that we are busy and working all of the time, we are implicitly suggesting that we are sought after, which enhances our perceived status. The reality of busyness though, is that it is a façade, creating a false sense of purpose and a never ending cycle of yet “one more thing to do.”  – Harvard Business Review

The Problem with Busyness

  1. You are never “enough” unless you are busy. You are subconsciously hiding behind busyness – “I’m not successful unless I’m busy.”
  1. You are afraid to slow down. Busyness is a crutch, an excuse for having “no life.”  No real contentment or satisfaction.
  1. You are disconnected from others. Your disconnectedness conveys that you are too busy for me and that I don’t matter.  Relationships suffer when you are disconnected and when you don’t make time for those you care about.
  1. You don’t know HOW to disconnect. You are too busy to be in the moment.  Many of life’s little things are missed because of your inability to enjoy the moment.

How to Let Go of Your Busyness Habit

  1. Acknowledge that busyness has become a burdensome habit, perhaps even an addiction.
  2. Understand WHY you think you need to be busy all of the time:
  • To project that you are successful and in-demand?
  • To avoid/distract from something that you don’t want to face?
  • To procrastinate, delay something?

3. Stop saying you are too busy. Stop making busyness your go-to excuse.   Make time for what matters.

  1. Prioritize what matters most to you. What do you want MORE of in your life?  Downsize and declutter your life by removing all unnecessary possessions that distract you from what you value most.  Make room for things that matter by removing everything else that doesn’t.
  1. Create your “Stop Doing List.” Your Stop Doing List might actually be more important than your To-Do list.  Living in the shadow of “should’s” and “have-to’s” is not living a life of your choosing but rather a life of what others expect of you or want you to be.
  1. STOP multi-tasking/START single tasking. Focus.  Remove distractions that prevent you from staying focused on the project at hand (i.e. your cellphone, social media, etc.).
  1. Practice. Being. Here.  Now.  Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “We are always getting ready to live while never really living.”  Commit to staying centered and focused on the present.
  1. Take time for you. Make YOU a priority.   If you don’t take care of yourself you won’t be any good for others.  Know what you need to relieve stress, recalibrate, and restore balance in your life.  Learn to say yes to what you need for your own health, happiness and well-being.
  1. Adopt the mindset of enough. Experience the joy and peace of having enough, of being enough.  Happiness lies within you, not comparing yourself to what you have or don’t have.
  1. Stop over committing. Stop saying “yes” so much.  Set boundaries, empower yourself to say “no” and mean it if it doesn’t align with what matters to you.

Thomas Edison said, “Time is not a commodity that can be stored for future use.  It must be invested in hour-by-hour, minute-by-minute.”  

We all have the same 24 hours in a day and we can’t take it back.  If busyness has become a burden in your life and you want to make room for what matters most to you…

  • Choose it
  • Make time for it
  • Prioritize it
  • Commit to it
  • Say yes to it
  • Invest in it… it’s your life!

Live the Life You Love… By Design!