You say you’re busy, but are you really?

Are you really suffering from busyness?

How many times have you said ‘I’m busy’ when someone asks you how you are?

I reckon I’ve said it plenty of times in the past couple of weeks, but, if you know me well, you’d know that I’m the type of person who thrives on busyness because I find it hard to sit still and do ‘nothing’.

BUT perhaps I’m doing myself a disservice? Perhaps I shouldn’t be happy about the fact that I like being busy?  Perhaps I have an illness called busyness and am making things harder on myself than they should be?

busyness

Being busy for no reason

Let’s face it, I’m not struggling to put food on the table and I’m not working 3 jobs to make ends meet. That is being busy for a reason. Besides having to spend a week with my son at home sick and having to juggle a child and work, my busyness is self-inflicted and I have no one else to blame!

Busyness is totally in my control.

Have you ever wanted things and people to move a little faster because you’re in a hurry, like when you’re in a slow line at the grocery store or waiting for petrol?  I have and it made me feel worse because I was overreacting to the situation, hoping that in some magical way, it would create a sense of urgency in the other people in the line. It’s all mind games.

Even on days when I am super busy, it’s usually my fault because I was the one who booked in too much work or too many appointments in the first place.

It’s clear to me that I’m the one making it harder and busier on myself. Sound familiar?

Why are we so busy?

We can thank the society we live in for this need to be constantly switched on all the time. It’s the comparison on social media, needing a great career, a bigger house, nicer clothes…it’s all driving us to be better and therefore busier.

The problem with this is that we are missing out, BIG TIME. We are missing out on the world around us and we miss out on what it feels like to be present within ourselves.

There was one story I read about famous violinist Joshua Bell, who played one of the most difficult classical masterpieces ever known on a $3 Million violin in a Washington subway. Disguised as a street performer, 1000 people passed him and only 27 stopped because he didn’t look important and because people were far too busy to even notice. How sad is this!

How to remove unnecessary busyness from your life

Come on, let’s all stop being so bloody busy for no damn reason! Here’s how we can do it:

  1. Wake up and remind yourself every morning that you will not be unnecessarily busy or stressed
  2. Identify when your busyness is a choice
  3. Keep life in order and don’t overschedule yourself
  4. Learn how to say no!
  5. Make lists and eliminate the non-essential items in your day.
  6. Disconnect from the internet/social media. It’s a time waster.
  7. Watch less TV
  8. Schedule some time out for yourself
  9. Revisit your priorities
  10. Add time in your daily schedule to take time out e.g. to have a proper lunch break

busyness
Do you find yourself in the busyness trap like I do? 

 

Eva Lewis (The Multitasking Woman)

Eva is the Editor and Owner of The Multitasking Woman - a lifestyle and parenting blog.She always has her fingers in many different pies but wouldn't have it any other way. Eva is a Mum to her 4-year-old son, 2 month old daughter, two chickens, one dog and a fish called Bob and a wife to Mr G. They all live happily in their little cottage on the outskirts of Brisbane.

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21 Comments

  1. March 1, 2016 / 8:46 am

    Social media leaves me feeling busy all the time – I spend so much of my day on it and really need to cut back. Now that IG has allowed you to have multiple accounts open on the one device I can switch from my blog to personal account so easily and it means I am on it even more now!! Eeeek x
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  2. March 1, 2016 / 1:07 pm

    I ALWAYS take a lunch break, in every job. Even ones where it’s uncool to have lunch breaks and leave on time. And I’ve noticed that the more I do it, the more others did too.
    It doesn’t stop overwhelm and busy but it’s one step of many.
    Vanessa recently posted…I Don’t Understand…My Profile

  3. March 1, 2016 / 1:13 pm

    Love this post. Busyness has become a competition and I am actively removing myself from it. I am sick of busy being the benchmark. x #teamIBOT
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    • March 1, 2016 / 4:14 pm

      YES!! Amen to this comment! I love choosing to not be busy and to not fill every other weekend with things to do all the time. I don’t overschedule the kids either. There is real value in just chilling, and not rushing from one activity to the next.

  4. March 1, 2016 / 1:20 pm

    I’ve made it my focus not to be busy this year because I found I was too busy to enjoy life. I’m also in a hard season with little kids that are dependent on me. My life is busy already without me piling on more projects on top. Great post and something we all need to think about. If we’re too busy, sometimes we can miss out on life’s blessings. xx
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  5. March 1, 2016 / 4:29 pm

    Busyness is a status symbol for some people – “I’m so busy and important, I couldn’t possibly have time for that”.

    What’s the point? Life is for living!
    Rachel McD recently posted…Reasons my toddler is not asleepMy Profile

  6. March 1, 2016 / 4:33 pm

    I fall into this all the time. I cannot sit still for very long and I am always coming up with new ideas or somethings write about. Great post Eva. #teamIBOT
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  7. March 1, 2016 / 10:07 pm

    I feel like I’m quite similar to you. I have trouble sitting still and doing nothing. If I have some spare time I have to fill it with an activity. I know this is learned behaviour from my mother. She’s an absolute shocker for running around like the energizer bunny. I want to slow down, but I just don’t know how and don’t know that it’s in my general make up.
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  8. March 2, 2016 / 1:14 pm

    I don’t like being busy, but I like being productive and often they can look the same.
    For me I find that when I feel busy it’s because I’m doing things I don’t need to do, but do because others want me to. Then I get irritated by it.
    EssentiallyJess recently posted…Spotto! And how to raise a family of stalkers #IBOTMy Profile

  9. March 2, 2016 / 9:30 pm

    Social medi time suck is my biggest issue. Mostly I choose to go slow and leave white space in my days but lately I am wearing busy like sc.arf around my neck. Family life is doing it though not outside crap thankfully.

  10. March 4, 2016 / 9:19 am

    I’m soooo sharing this with my clients. Great post!
    (As a woman of many hats, I am definitely sooooo busy …. right now I am soooo busy reading blog posts ….)

  11. March 4, 2016 / 2:48 pm

    I’ve been questioning my own busyness over the past week or two also. I like being busy but I’ve realised when things go wrong you need to have enough in reserve to act and cope. Constantly being too busy doesn’t work so I’ll be trying to put strategies in place to decrease my busyness.
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  12. March 5, 2016 / 10:28 am

    I am too busy, I find it hard to say “no” and something I really need to work on. I recently starting working full time again, plus running the blog, plus having 4 kids and a house to look after, there are not enough hours in the day. We have however decided to get a cleaner, so hopefully my “busyness” will diminish very, very soon. I can tend to procrastinate and become a bit disorganised, so if I worked on this too, I think it would help.

  13. March 25, 2016 / 5:56 pm

    The catastrophe potential off where youu live iis vital so that you could plan accordingly for business continuity.
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  14. April 12, 2016 / 8:03 pm

    Thank you Eva for this great post. I think that it has become automatic for most people to say ‘oh I’m just so busy’ when they are asked how they are. Busyness evokes images of frantically rushing from activity to activity, being constantly stressed and running late, and some people seem to be quite happy having this way of living define them, and they wear their busyness like a badge of honour. Perhaps they are concerned that if they don’t say how busy they are that others will think they are lazy, not doing ‘enough’, or just have it too easy!

    Like you I also find it hard to do nothing, and always have gardening, cooking, and craft activities on the go as well as work. However I prefer to describe myself as ‘occupied’ rather than busy – most times I feel a sense of flow in life, with my various interests and activities integrating to make up the whole-ness that is ‘life’. I’m wondering if this might also describe you?

    Perhaps the difference between being ‘busy’ and being ‘occupied’ is whether or not there is a feeling of being overwhelmed. If overwhelm is present, your tips on removing unnecessary busyness from life are absolutely on the mark.