We all love to be busy, it has many positives.
Except when it becomes toxic.
Busyness is endemic in our society today; It’s making us stressed, unhappy and our children anxious.
I used to proudly announce to the world regularly how busy I was.
I wore it like a badge of honour.
It was addictive, the more busy the more important and needed I felt. But I also felt more exhausted and had less time for me.
My brain was so wired I couldn’t sleep. I’d wake in the early hours of most mornings worrying about all the things I hadn’t done and still had to do.
I was the queen of multi tasking often having several projects on the go at once. Yet I struggled to focus on one.
I never took breaks; I’d eat at my desk, and holiday with my emails.
I felt guilty if I hadn’t done a 12-hour day at work.
Perhaps you’ve done or do the same.
Working and living at this pace is guaranteeing you one thing only.
It is impossible for it not to impact your physical and mental health.
I was lucky that I only experienced anxiety and IBS (as horrid as that was)
But sadly I know of people that have had much worse consequences including a fatal heart attack.
Our culture promotes busyness; it’s become integral to building our self-esteem.
We compare ourselves to others and feel like we’re failing if we aren’t keeping up with it all.
The dreaded ‘shoulds’ of life making us feel guilty, because “I should be able to do it all, right?”
After my burnout I changed jobs. My mental and physical health needed it.
I began to realise that busyness meant I had no time for me.
I had no time to think or feel my emotions.
I was on the hamster wheel of life.
The months and years were flying by and I still had so much I wanted to do but I wasn’t doing it. I had been too busy to realise, never mind do anything about it.
So how do we escape the curse of busyness and bring a better balance into our lives, whilst remaining productive?
Ask yourself why you need to be so busy, what does it mean to you?
What’s the worst that would happen if you were less busy? You might just find you get more done.
Push less and allow more, is one of my favourite sayings. How can life surprise and delight you if you are too busy to notice the magic.
Listen to your body and stop when it needs rest, create regular breaks during the working day to completely switch off.
Have fun, play, laugh create time for enjoyment. Schedule it into your day if you have to.
Set boundaries, say no instead of saying yes to everything.
Delegate, ask for help, deep down you know you don’t have to do it all yourself.
Don’t be tempted to make loads of drastic changes at once it will be harder to stick to and overwhelming.
I recommend mastering one thing, make it a consistent new habit before moving onto the next.