“I’m so busy!”
It’s a common phrase I hear from other entrepreneurs, friends, and even some of my clients. Heck, I’m guilty of telling people about how busy I’ve been too.
Trust me, I get it! You, me, and everyone else – we’re all just doing everything we can to succeed and create the best life we can, while staying up to date on who’s who and what’s what in the crazy, cool, ever-changing world we live in.
But the path of being busy all the time can easily lead to burnout.
And believe me – no one wants to end up there.
Busy as bees
We live in a world that glorifies being busy.
Adults fill their calendars with social events to build their professional networks. We enroll our children in classes and activities so they can discover new things and grow into their passions. Everyone’s got headphones in their ears so they can listen to music or an inspiring podcast. We’re all glued to our smartphones and tablets, keeping our brains occupied for the majority of our days.
It feels like the most natural and right thing to do, because it’s been ingrained in our brains by society that if we’re busy, we’re being productive. Having a completely booked up calendar, running from one task or meeting to the next, always being caught up in a new hobby or adventure gives meaning to our life. If we’re always doing something – that means we’re actively growing, learning, and generating a sense of purpose and fulfillment in our life. Right?
The buzz word: Balance
Busyness is a good thing, if it makes you feel good, if it gives you energy. When you’re busy pursuing your passions and have a sense of accomplishment, when it makes you feel good and boosts your confidence – it’s okay to be busy.
But, it’s easy to get caught up in being busy and actually end up wasting your time. And your time is extremely valuable! I’m sure you’ve heard the old saying: “Time is money” – and it’s completely true. For example, if you make an annual salary of $50,000, every hour of your day is worth $26.00 and every minute is worth $0.43. And if your at $100,000, every hour is worth $51.00 and every minute is worth $0.85.
If you’re busy with tasks that provide no purpose in your life, then you’re really just losing out on your own precious time. On top of that, if being busy wears you down, stresses you out, causes anxiety, leaves you feeling overwhelmed and sleep deprived – then it’s time to slow down and rethink where you’re focusing your energy!
If you’re constantly flying around the race track at full-speed with no pit stops, you’re eventually going to run out of gas! When that happens and you’re not ready for it, that’s when little pieces of your life and YOU start to fall apart at the seams.
For all the go-go-go you endure, it’s important to make time to slow down and unwind. It’s like yin and yang – you’ve got to balance out the the busy by doing nothing.
Dear Stress, Buzz off!
There are a lot of people who don’t know how to stop and suffer while being busy.
Busyness has become a disease they can’t get away from. In an article written for the Huffington Post, doctors have alluded to excessive busyness as the cause for health issues in many of their patients. When they try to slow down or stop for a break, they start to feel like they’re falling behind. Because, what if something happens at work while their phone is off? Or, if someone posts something on Facebook and they miss the big announcement? If they miss an event, will they regret it forever? And what about all the contests we can take part in? For example, at the time of writing this a friend of mine is competing for a Nashville recording gig and everyone in our circle has been glued to their phones to keep voting like crazy so she wins! Over and over again, we’ve had to confirm “I am not a robot” – and yes, we’re starting to question ourselves. But we keep on coming back and voting, because damnit, she’s holding the #1 spot right now and we’re going to make sure she stays there.
We live in a world that occupies our mind and senses at all times. Silencing the noise from the outside world and being alone with just ourselves and our thoughts is uncomfortable and unnerving.
Go ahead… walk away from the information overload and the chaos of the world around you. No matter where you are, life will go on. Go ahead… take a moment to breathe and bring yourself into a calmer state of mind, rather than tirelessly treading water in the deep end. It will help you more than you might imagine.
Finding solitude in your life is important for your mental health. It encourages us to connect with who we are and where we are in terms of our personal happiness and goals. When we escape from our obligations and focus on ‘just being ourselves’, we grow and find clarity to create change and make personal improvements. It also opens up space — giving us the opportunity to celebrate how far we’ve come!
When’s the last time you were just you?
Just “bee” you
Doing nothing isn’t easy. After all, many of us are conditioned to proudly wear our busyness badge of honour. Why would we want to rip it off?
No matter what your profession or what you do in your personal life, taking time for yourself, free of obligations will give you time to appreciate the simple joys of life and recharge your batteries for the future.
Stuck on how to “do nothing”?
- Go for a walk, without a specific destination in mind. (Honestly, this is one I’m still working on)
- Disconnect your access to work emails and let your inbox wait until you’re back in the office.
- Get in touch with friends you “haven’t had time” to see.
- Put on your favourite pair of pyjamas, and binge-watch Netflix all weekend.
- Watch the sunset.
- Watch a sunrise. Just sit in silence and watch the world wake up.
- Try floating.
- Practice meditation.
- Plan and go on a vacation. Or a staycation
Give yourself permission to take a time out. Allow your brain time to process all the data it’s absorbed, sorted and been bombarded with, and allow it to rest. Let your body relax. Release stress, flush out anxiety, and get some sleep!
You should never be too busy to put yourself first. Self care is not selfish! The more often you make time for you within your own busy schedule, the more likely you are to bounce back with a little more pep in your step. You’ll have a better understanding of where you are, where you want to be and most importantly – why you do what you do, and why you keep yourself so busy.
Even the busiest of bees need to stop and just smell the flowers sometimes! Doing so will put you in a calmer, happier, and healthier state of mind, leaving you less stressed and more likely to stay on the path towards greatness and avoid burning out.
PS… I’m happy to celebrate the “Bees and the Bare Bones” WON!!! and are off to Nashville for a recording gig!
I’m Janice Otremba, a professional speaker, facilitator and coach who specializes in Beating Burnout, Lowering Stress and Powering Up Your Happy! Let’s kick your butt into gear with simple, sound advice for beating burnout and powering up your happy. Book a free 15-minute consultation call with me to get started!
Image courtesy of thephotoholic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net