Stop being so busy!

There is a 'work/society epidemic' that the world is suffering from, and it is called the 'busy bug'. Do you have it?

Check this out.

In the course of a normal day we will ask people “How are you?”

How many times do you hear the answer “I am so busy!” in response to that?

What are we all so busy doing? Do we really need to be that busy?

We have to regularly stop and ask ourselves that question. Life can feel like we are on a hamster wheel. We spin around and are simply running running running.

If we ask the hamster “Where are you going?” The hamster answers “Don’t know, got to go, I’m busy, busy, running”.

We then ask “Why are you going there?” The hamster replies "don’t know but I am busy, got to go!”

Most of us are probably guilty of being like that hamster at times.

But we can all choose to get off that wheel and stop and take a look at it from a distance.

We need to allow ourselves the time and space to say "Hey, where are we going, where have we been and why are we doing this?"

We are after all human beings, not human doings. It’s not just about doing a lot of stuff. Being busy is not a badge of honour. Unless we are doing the right, relevant things – the things that really make a difference – we maybe shouldn’t be doing them at all.

Some causes and symptoms of the 'busy bug'...

There are many pressures on us to be busy; there is so much to do, there is the pressure of work, home, family, the balance in our life.

The next job, the next promotion, the next meeting we HAVE to be in, the next thing we cannot miss. We get onto the busy wheel and it feels like we can’t get off.

We feel like we HAVE to, OUGHT to or SHOULD do so much. There are demands on our time from every angle. We feel like being busy is the state we're almost expected to be in. Because if we're not frantically busy, maybe we are seen to not do what we should. And yet, it can feel like we are missing life and great moments when we are in that 'busy bug' mode.

Some remedies for the 'busy bug' to consider...

So let’s take control of the 'busy bug' and think about what we can do. We recommend trying some of these remedies.

  • Make some fundamental choices. Start to feel like you are at choice. After all, you are in control of this crazy schedule, you drive it, so start to make choices. There are so many great things to do and things you would love to do, but you don’t have to do them all. Make sure you are making choices not just “wants”. Remember that just being busy is NOT a badge of honour. Think 'do less, achieve more'. Choose carefully.
  • Take some reflection time, during your busy day/week/month. Take some time out even if it’s only a walk, a breath, a moment to reflect and put things into perspective. Why not put it into your calendar, it will be really productive use of your time. Reflection helps create insight, better decisions and better results.
  • If you are “always on” then you will miss the chance to celebrate success and the little things and the big things that you have achieved will get missed. Take a few moments at the end of each day to think about the positives and what you have achieved today and how you can take those positives with you into the next day and the future.
  • When you get very busy, break the tasks down and simply take it one step at a time, you can only do what you can do. Take control and it feels better already.
  • Being busy is a bug, so we also need to ensure that we are saying no when we need to. If we say no we need to work on HOW we say no. It is the way we communicate the no that is important, to create understanding and acceptance as to why we are doing it.
  • Think about how often you are asking for help and support from others. Others are usually happy to help, if we just ask. Think about when you were last asked for help, did you help and how did it feel? Pretty good, right? Someone trusted in you and reached out to you.

If we constantly say to ourselves and others that we are busy, guess what we will be – busy.

So next time you hear someone say "I am really busy”, what will your response be, how can you help them off the hamster wheel?

And the next time someone asks you how you are, what could you replace the 'busy bug' reference with?

Author: Mandy and Elisabet

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