Stop being so busy

Busy! I used to work double shifts – there was always so much to do, and I prioritised my work. This past year I’ve spent less time working, I have been more focused, but I have a busy social life. I love new experiences so why stay in when there is a band to watch.

I know I’m not filling my life because I don’t want to be alone – I love my nights in, but I do want to get more time just to be. Time when I’m not doing anything, just allowing myself to be quiet.

I read an article which resonated (and I probably spend far too much time following links to interesting articles!). The author David Sbarra includes a quote from the book Overwhelmed by Brigid Schulte:

Researchers can track the rise of busyness in holiday cards dating back to the 1960s. In holiday cards, Americans used to share news about our lives (the joys and sorrows of the year), but now we’re more likely than ever to mention how busy we are as well.

David, like me, decided to spend more time in nature, and more time walking. Walking gives us time to think, as long as we don’t have our headphones in so we are concentrating on music or podcasts/audio books.

His quote on busyness resonated.

I am busy so therefore my life has meaning. 

But I want some time to have my mind clear, hence going on my Vision Quest.  And this is supported by a quote from Tim Kreider author of We Learn Nothing:

This busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness. Obviously, your life cannot possibly be silly, or trivial, or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked every hour of the day. All this noise, and rush, and stress seem contrived to cover up some fear at the center of our lives.”

He has also got off FaceBook – I’m limiting the amount of time I spend on that app, but it is the way I stay in touch with a wide range of people to find out what’s going on so I don’t think I want to give it up.  10 days without access to social media will be another challenge for me. FaceBook helps me keep in touch with friends, but I also make sure I talk with most of my friends weekly.

Comedy class too has helped me be less busy – yes, it is another commitment, but it is not work, but a fun time with people – we play very silly games and get in touch with our inner child and I think we all need more of this.

I’m well aware that I have always been busy, often as a way of avoiding situations. Related blog posts include:

Why are you so busy? Redefining success

Guy Kawasaki summarises this brilliantly in his article ‘Let’s stop the glorification of busy’ So I’ve included his highlights along with some personal comments.

Are you too busy to slow down? from March, 2008

Are you bring productive or just busy? from July 2007

Why not do busy – but be idle instead from May 2007

Love to know if this resonates, feel free to comment below.



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