Ever catch yourself saying “I’m busy”, and wonder if there will ever be a time again that this phrase doesn’t apply to your life?
I have been thinking a lot lately about how much my thoughts contribute to the overall feel of my life, particularly the feeling that there is never enough time and always too many tasks. It is not only thoughts, but also the spoken words those thoughts generate, that are creating our realities.
The popular phrases that come to mind are:
“I’m too busy for/to [blank].”
“I was too busy to get around to it.”
The Opposite of Busy Looks Pretty Darn Good
I have wanted to change this about myself for several years now. I don’t want to be too busy. I don’t even want to be busy! Busy is the opposite of me. I want to feel calm and peaceful, and I want my days to be calm and peaceful. And I don’t think that’s a bad thing for a person to want.
I love that Amy Schmittauer of Savvy Sexy Social made it one of her New Year’s resolutions last year to stop saying “I’m busy.” Because we’re all busy. We all have plenty to do. There is plenty to be done! But going around saying “I’m too busy” doesn’t make it go away; it only either makes it stay the same or, more likely, get worse.
If we want more peace and calm, it starts with our thoughts. Even if you feel overwhelmed by your to-do lists, start with this simple step: stop thinking, saying, and writing “I’m busy” and all of its derivatives and origins.
I am currently working on not using this as an excuse for not getting things done (a.k.a., procrastinating). I’m also working to resist writing things like “didn’t get around to it, was too busy/swamped” in my emails, because that is also part of the “I’m (too) busy” syndrome.
Busyness as a False Proof of Value
This is challenging, because the need to justify is so strong. Of course there is a good reason I didn’t get around to it, let me tell you all about it so I still look like a responsible/productive/over-achieving individual. This is the version of myself that I am working to leave behind.
I don’t want to defend myself anymore and try to always be right. It is exhausting, and I wore myself out over it. Instead, I would rather accept things as they are each day, do what I can, and feel good about myself no matter what at the end of the day.
Whether I got fifty, five, or zero things done that day, I am giving myself permission to feel good. I don’t need someone else’s stamp of approval that I kept busy enough that day anymore.
If what we want is to not be too busy, affirming these words each and every day is not the way to get there.
The Light at the End of the Busy Tunnel
I recently heard that worry and anxiety are like chronic diseases: if left untreated, they continually get worse and worse. This spoke to me, because I have been a chronic worrying, anxious person, and for several years noticed that it was not only not going away, but worsening. This is a scary path to be on, because you can never see that things could get better – because they won’t unless you make a personal change.
Being too busy is the same. It is not going to go away or even get better on its own; we have to do the work to get it out of our lives. The consequence of not taking action is letting it get further and further out of control. I personally can’t live like that anymore. How about you?
image credit: quoteswave