Busyness is an illness.
Think about it: ‘I’m busy.’ How often is that your excuse?
It used to be my excuse every single day. My schedule used to leave me zero time for unplanned presence and awareness.
And I was proud of my busyness. I wore it like a badge. It gave me an illusion of importance or significance to justify my existence.
In a way, I wanted to highlight how tough I had it. I wanted everyone to know how juggling the demands of single parenthood, business and self care was a huge burden. Who has time to sit and have a chat, or see friends and just chill..?
‘Can’t you see? I am super busy everybody! Keep this in mind, and have mercy on me! Please!’
Yes, that’s exactly what I used to want you to know about me…
But not anymore.
Now, I actually pause to hear the music, and to smell the roses. And I’m proud of it. The other thing I thought about was ‘…..too busy for what exactly? The things that really matter?!!! What the?!’
Here’s the thing: Busyness is NOT a badge of honour. There’s no honour at all in endless busyness.
Busyness is an illness that makes everything harder than it needs to be.
Busy for the Sake of Busy
If we’re not below the poverty line or juggling three jobs at once just to put food on the table, then our busyness is self-inflicted 98% of the time (the exception being that 2% of the time a random series of incredibly difficult life events blindsides us).
I finally got a handle on my busyness when I studied it long enough to realize that, yes… my busyness was within my control. In fact, most of the time I actually created hurry and worry where none really existed. On any normal weekday, you would have found me running around pleading with family, business associates, and basically everyone nearby to move faster…
‘If you don’t finish eating, we’re going to be late!’
‘If we don’t get this task done in the next hour… I’m never going to hit my deadline! And what’s worse, I’ll let everyone down.’
The funny thing is, whether I provoked everyone around me to move faster or not, we always collectively moved at about the same pace anyway. But when I provoked them, everyone (including myself) was unhappier.
It became crystal clear to me that nearly all of my busyness was an overreaction in my head. I was manufacturing it in hopes that it would create urgency in others, and somehow make my life easier. Instead, it did the exact opposite – my busyness only created anxiety, bitterness and complexity. And even on days when the busyness was real (lots of things to do), it was typically due to an overbooked schedule I had personally created and committed to.
All of this got me thinking:
‘Why in the world am I voluntarily making my life harder, busier and unhappier than it has to be?’
The Reason and Answer for Needless Busyness (and Misery)
Sadly, a big part of the reason we fill our lives with needless busyness has to do with the always-plugged-in, always-connected, always-sharing, always-comparing society we live in.
We default to defining ourselves based on where we are and what we have in relation to everyone else.
If we don’t have a ‘better’ career, house, car, or pair of shoes, we feel inferior or ‘not good enough’. And the only way we can possibly do better, is to be busier doing… whatever! After all, we are what we do, right? Job title, employer… aren’t these typically the first things we share with strangers we meet at parties?
We fill our Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat feeds, and our calendars, with manufactured busyness to avoid just being exactly who we are, exactly where we are. In the process, we not only miss out on the serenity and beauty that exists within ourselves, but we also miss out on experiencing that same serenity and beauty in the world around us, because our busyness has buried it with ‘hurry’ and ‘worry,’ and the endless need to be somewhere else, doing something else, as fast as feasibly possible.
Ready for a positive change in your life?
Join me, and let’s wake-up every morning from here on out and mindfully let our needless busyness and worries go.
Let’s start making every moment less busy and more beneficial.
Let’s start keeping our lives ordered and our schedules under-booked.
Let’s start creating a foundation with a soft place to land, a wider margin for error, and room to think, connect and breathe.
Let’s start changing the way we think about our lives and the things we think we ‘should’ be doing 24/7, so we can actually live better lives… lives filled with more presence, joy, and peace. After all, you are what you think! And you can’t change anything if you can’t change your thinking.
I’ll say that again: you can’t change anything if you can’t change your thinking.
And the good news is, YOU CAN change the way you think.
You can change the way you think, and gradually master a new way to be and live.
And that’s exactly why Dr Jeffrey Schwartz and I created the on-line version of the You Are Not Your Brain webinar series.
If you are grappling with busyness know that you are not alone. Many of us are right there with you, working hard to feel better, think more clearly, and get our lives back on track. This is precisely why we built the You Are Not Your Brain Online course which is filled with time-tested steps on how to do just that.
This is not some online ebook that you read and forget about. It’s a revolutionary, self-paced online course and community with 8 video lessons, and many time-tested brain-based strategies and techniques that will teach you scientifically proven methods for changing bad habits, ending unhealthy thinking, and take back control of your life and happiness. These are the exact proven strategies and techniques I have used in my coaching practice to help thousands of people over the past two decades.
If you know anyone who could benefit from this blog or the You Are Not Your Brain program, please share and help ‘spread the love’.
I’d like to hear your thoughts. Leave your comments below and let’s co-create a more balanced healthier and happier life.