I catch myself saying this a lot, lately.
On the surface of it, that’s a fact and undoubtedly true. Working 9-5 (new projects coming in), raising a daughter (I don’t know how people with 3 kids do it), ushering a completion of a reunion project, preparing for a long travel (Australia) and having a short learning trip to Singapore all within a month.
And that against the backdrop of running, writing, and…
working out 3 days a week
because let’s face it – I still need to look good while I’m busy.
Later, it became more apparent that my busyness are purely self imposed. Whatever the commitment that I am looking to get over with are brought upon by my own and I have the capacity to alleviate them. Unwatched though, we could easily be sucked into the drudgery with very little connection to the right priorities.
While I’m particularly fine being intentionally busy (sometimes men gotta hustle), I’m having issues with being busy on things that are reactive. Those things that you don’t really need to be doing, but imposed on you nevertheless because you lose control of yourselves.
- Having to attend a meeting that you did not want to go and don’t have anything to do with it.
- Having to do work that you don’t want to do and don’t add any value whatsoever.
- Having to attend a wedding of someone you are not really that close.
- Having to do work stuffs at home due to bad planning (been guilty at this).
- Having to reply hundreds of emails everyday.
- The list goes on.
Above and many more normal works and events occurs daily but most of the time we’d do it without batting an eye. This led to having to defer other more important things in life, such as growth, health and relationship.
Let’s explore why we should check with ourselves whenever we are about to utter “I’m busy”
1. False feeling of being productive
I got “I’m busy” when I ask a friend to come for our school reunion the other day.
I got “I’m busy” when I ask a colleague how their day’s been.
I got “I’m busy” when asking the other friend for a lunch workout.
What seemed to be a nonchalant response is actually a boastful act in disguise. If you’re busy, then you must be really productive!
While it may feels like we are productively churning completed task after task, those might be of low and no value at all that we actually better off doing something else. Consider emails in our inbox, those are other people agendas and if we lived feeling productive ensuring all the emails being answered, well we might be dead wrong.
Better approach is to ensure you schedule time for emails. What to do on the other time, you ask? Create. Create value.
So the next time you are busy and felt productive, ask your self is it productive productive or an imaginary productive.
2. False feeling of being important
You must be a really important people too. Off course, having to rush between floors barely able to breath and at the same time juggling different meetings, while on the phone. Those might give the impression that you are important people. Well it might be true. But it did not have to be to the extent that you lose your swag. You can pace, but don’t pace all the time. It is bad for health and I experienced it myself so I can vouch those superficial feeling of being an important hot shot? It didn’t matter. At the end of the day, no one really gives a shit about you more than themselves.
So, the same advice applies. We can only do so much in a day. Schedule it.
3. Being continuously busy dilutes the focus to your priorities
It’s very easy to lose sight on things that really mattered when we are in the streams of tasks. Busyness it seemed, a normal state to some people that there will almost be no time to exercise, create something beautiful, nurturing great relationships, having uninterrupted deep talk and look into the eyes of your kid and really communicate.
Most things that make us busy, normally didn’t stack up with our true values.Consider prioritizing.
Being busy might not be your choice if you’re clear with your life objectives.
Ask yourself, often – anything more worthwhile to be done?
Especially with this unnecessary habits : mindlessly watching TV, scrolling for updates on Facebook & Twitter every 5 minutes, playing Candy Crush all day long, surfing the net, reading blogs after blogs without the intent to implement it (this is irony!).
Asking is a perfect antidote it’s worth to be repeated.
When you catch yourself running, running, running (of course not literally), ask yourself ‘for what?’ The answer might be startling. Is it for money? And when you get thy money, ask again ‘For what?’ Ask again and again until you become crazy mindfucked. In the end, simple growth, health, and relationship prevailed all the time.
4. ‘I’m not busy’ is way cooler.
Sometimes, I’d like to be a contrarian in a casual reply to “How’s your day going?”. It’s an actual boast without the shady cloak. I said, “I’m not busy at all. Just enjoying my time”. Now of course if those words are uttered at a wrong place and wrong time, you’d be very likely to get another dozens of things to do (consider saying that to your boss!). But on most occasion, these words exist. Even in the actual busyness. You can still be mindful, packed with suave and collected, breathing. And being able to say it gives a fresh outlook into your life. Your colleague’s might appreciate the difference too.
Try it, and see how it unfolds.
Is there any other way to combat busyness? Let me know man.