“Hey, how are you?”
“Ugh, I’m so busy, I need a vacation!”
I know that exchange sounds familiar because I’ve heard it drop from my lips many times! (for the record, I need a lifelong vacation, but that’s another post)
“I’m so busy!” The idea, the uttering, the feeling is always there ready to be delivered at a moments notice. Why?
My morning read this month (I’m so excited to be reading again that I’ve got a morning book and an evening book. . . I digress) is Overwhelmed: How to Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte.
I’m not done yet, but in the first few chapters of the book I’ve not only had “ah-ha” moments, I’m examining my life and realizing that my busyness is often for the benefit of others, not mine. Can you relate?
Thing is, being busy is the new “status” symbol. If you’re not crazy busy, you must not be that important, or worst, you must not be that successful. We’ve gotten to where we equate being busy with being successful. But most of the time our “busy” is simply movement not progress, and certainly not success.
Movement vs. Progress
In our new technology driven world, that was supposed to give us more free time, we’re overwhelmed with busy. We carry multiple phones and can’t stop looking at our screens because, FOMO (fear of missing out).
We run ourselves crazy never stopping for a moment to think about whether our busy is just movement or if it’s progress.
[wp_ad_camp_4]As women we have tons of stuff in our lives that keep us moving. That’s not so say men don’t, but I’m not talking to men 😉 I’m talking to you, lady boss! We drive our kids around to activities and events. We cook, we clean, we respond to invitations and buy gifts. Then let’s not forget trips to the vet for the pet(s), the grocery shopping that needs to happen, and oh, wait, there’s also the vacation we need to plan and the bills we need to pay. Oh, but we also need to answer emails, create our next promotion, create a strategy for our marketing, gather information for taxes, and make sure we workout, eat healthy and spend time with the people we love. . . .
Just reading that makes me tired.
Now consider how many things we do that can go away without being missed. Or, how much time we could take to just do things we want to do if we sidelined our need for “busyness”.
Moving is not progress. Merriam Webster’s definitions are:
- Movement: change of place or position or posture
- Progress: a forward or onward movement
So, just because you’re moving or “busy” doesn’t mean you’re moving forward. You may be, but there’s no guarantee!
Mind Your Busyness
[wp_ad_camp_5]If you can’t see or feel where or how you’re spending your time, you can’t change it. So, let’s slow down so we can mind our busyness and progress. Let’s “see” what’s happening.
Below are two (actually one and a sub action) action steps we’re going to take for the next week (yes, I’ll be joining you). We’re going to find the “Busy” so we can reduce it.
- Keep a time journal of your daily activities
- Color code your time: Red = work, Blue = busy, Yellow = downtime
This only works if we’re brutally honest with ourselves, so let’s be honest as we go through our days. Right now we just want to be aware of our busy. Soon we’ll talk about ways to reduce the noise, clutter and busy so we can get to progress.