There is an epidemic that the world is suffering from, it is called the busy “bug”. Do you have it ? Check it 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!”? What are we all so busy doing? We have to keep stopping and asking ourselves that question.
Life can feel like we are on the hamster wheel. We spin around and are 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”
So we need to get off that wheel and stop and take a look at it from a distance. 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. Unless we are doing the right, relevant things – the things that really make a difference – we maybe shouldn’t be doing them.
Some causes and symptoms ….
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 go to, the flight we have to take, the next thing we cannot miss. We get into the busy wheel and it feels like we can’t get off . We feel like we HAVE to, OUGHT to or SHOULD do. There are demands on our time from every angle.
It can feel like we are missing life and great moments when we are in the busy bug mode.
“The bad news is time flies. The good news is you’re the pilot.” Michael Altshuler.
So let’s take control of the busy bug and think about what we can do. Try 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”.
- 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.
- If you are “always on” then you will miss the chance to celebate 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, maybe during your commute, to think about the positives an 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 is your response, 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?
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life. Socrates.”
In next weeks, let’s explore the curse of multitasking…..
About the authors
Mandy Flint & Elisabet Vinberg Hearn, award-winning authors of ”The Team Formula”.
Their latest book ”Leading Teams – 10 Challenges: 10 Solutions” is out now, published by Financial Times International.
Praise for ”Leading Teams: ”This book is a 21st-century guide on how to build a world-class team. I highly recommend it” Steve Siebold, Founder, Mental Toughness University, Florida USA.