“I’m so busy, I’m so busy…I have so much going on”.
“I’m so busy, I’m so busy…I have so much to do”.
How many times a day do you hear that?
You start with a simple question... “How are you?” and how often is it met with “OMG! I am sooooooooooooo busy, it’s just crazy”.
It’s not just the adults, the kids days are scheduled with so many activities, the days of playing together after school are long gone. In some extreme cases, people and families are booked months in advance before they have an available “diary opening”.
In his article “The Disease of Being Busy” Omid Safi asks,
How did we end up living like this?
Why do we do this to ourselves?
Why do we do this to our children?
When did we forget that we are human beings, not human doings?”
So why are we so busy?
Busyness has become a badge of honour for people to wear. The busier you are, surely the more successful you are? When you stop saying you’re so busy, you set yourself up for slowing down. As Mahatma Gandhi said, “Your words become your actions, your actions become your habits”. Simply put, doing less, actually creates more—more time, more space, more freedom to be who we truly are.
Technology has impacted humans and the lines between work and home have become blurred. We have at times an overload of information and consequently additional pressure. Emails, text messages, social media, never-ending notifications pinging on each device you own and then add in a chattering television in the background... it is pretty full - what we all pack into a day, week, month, and year.
Every single one of us has things that keep us in this mode called busy - work, kids, family, pets, sports, hobbies to name a few. In a study of stress and its effects, Dr Michael Marmot, a British epidemiologist (scientists who study diseases within populations of people), found there are two types of busyness. The most damaging is busyness without control, which mostly affects the disadvantaged in our communities, and busyness we control.
The latter is the sickness we bring to ourselves.
How About Connecting ...
All these distractions take us away from the very root of who we are meant to be. Human beings are designed for connection, actual face-to-face interaction, we are social creatures and yet we ignore our core desires. Do you recognise any of these symptoms? If the answer is yes - you may be suffering from the condition “excessive busyness”. Here are the symptoms that are typical of a person suffering from excessive busyness.
- Bowel disturbances
- Back pain
- Weight gain
There are no blood tests or x-rays of this condition but it is easy to diagnose!
What is the alternative to Busyness?
Don’t get me wrong – there’s nothing wrong with having goals. It is wise to remember the words of Thomas Sowell “There are no solutions, only trade-offs”. A resource such as time or money, spending some of it on one thing always means not spending it on something else.
Follow our daily blog posts this week and I will share with you how to make a difference to being less busy. All I suggest is to build these tips into your daily routine, and you’ll start to notice a difference in your ability to connect with those around you.
I have deliberately broken this into daily bites to prevent overload and adding to your “busyness”.
Having been trapped in the "I'm so busy gig" for a long period of time am happy to share that these suggestions do help. I am far from being perfect however, I hope these small steps can lead to improvements for you too. Sally x