TRUTH BOMB: THE STORY OF BUSY IS BROKEN
How often do you find yourself saying that you are busy?
Time is yours to manage, but we have been taught to think that there is forever too much to do, and that there’s never enough time in which to get it done.
How do those thoughts feel in your body?
I felt physical stress simply typing those words!
The trouble with these thoughts is that when we convince ourselves that we are so busy, we end up devoting less time to what truly matters.
If you find yourself caught up in a cycle of busyness, not accomplishing the things that you want out of life, then it is worth examining how you spend your time.
Performing a simple time audit over a few days, tracking what you do from hour to hour, can be quite eye-opening. You’ll discover firsthand the discrepancy between where you THINK your time goes, versus how you actually spend it.
The iPhone Screen Time Tracker led to a few shocking discoveries. Three hours on email??
Even if it’s half-wrong, that’s still more of my precious time than I care to devote to managing mail.
Let’s just say that was the beginning of my pursuit of better phone / life balance!
WHAT IS YOUR STORY ABOUT TIME?
It is also worth reflecting on your personal thoughts about time.
In times past, unless I was engaged in an activity that was directly tied to a goal, I would feel unsettled in my body and mind.
I could easily justify time spent prepping for dinner, working on a business goal, or completing something that could be checked off a to-do list.
I equated time with productivity.
But that level of work came at a cost, because in those busy (perhaps too busy) moments, the stress and overwhelm would surge. I would become desperate for a moment of quiet and rest, a break from overworking.
In response to overwhelm, I began by restructuring my days to allow for more of those restorative moments.
But here’s what happened: Those quiet moments felt extremely uncomfortable!
My mind suggested that taking time to myself was lazy. I would begin thinking about all of the things that weren’t getting done in those moments of “doing nothing”.
And there was plenty of judgment, too. Not only did I judge myself for doing too little, I felt pangs of guilt for looking so idle in front of my husband, as I just “sat around” doing nothing.
Needless to say, none of these thoughts were very helpful in restoring any sense of calm.
But here’s the thing—whether you call it downtime, prayer, meditation, or doing Nothing, those moments are not for nothing.
This was a learning curve for me, and it might be for you too.
I had to give myself permission to do less. I also had to release the idea that unless I felt stressed out and overworked, I wasn’t working hard enough, or that my productivity would suffer.
The truth is that with restorative time, we become more productive, more creative, and we are happier while doing our work.
This concept is still a hard sell in a society that correlates time with productivity.
SELF CARE, BECAUSE WE’RE BUSY
Even as you become more deliberate with how you spend your time, there will be those days that are stacked with meetings, when the kids need a lot more of your time, or when you simply have a lot of demands you are trying to meet.
This is when we often set our own needs aside for the sake of meeting the needs of others. We hand our well-being over to time and busyness, thinking we can’t do anything about it. The situation becomes hopeless.
But what if this became the very time we committed to our self-care, rather than setting it aside?
This is what my client recently did-- she decided to double down on her commitment to her health goals, not DESPITE her busy workday, but BECAUSE she had had a busy workday.
So when you catch yourself in the story of busy, remember that this is when prioritizing self-care becomes increasingly important.
Do you know what you need to remain grounded and content? Are you prioritizing those needs?
We can stay stuck in the story of busy for a lifetime.
Or, we can decide that time is ours to manage, and write a better story.
There has never been a better time to focus on your health and needs.
Aren’t you tired of running yourself ragged and staying stuck in the busy story?
P.S.—Have you been too busy to pay attention to your own health? Then it’s time to change the busy story.
As a holistic health coach, I help you see your mental blind spots and help create your personal freedom to change.
Do you often tell yourself you are too busy? What have you been putting off because of that? Comment below or message me.