Busy or Bonkers?
20 Jan 2016 3 Minute Read Article by Emma Kelly
We have become so used to multi-tasking and dividing our attention, it’s come to feel normal. It can feel necessary to organise our kids within an inch of their lives with practices, play dates, programmes and other plans. And if we’re juggling work as well, it gets even more complicated. As time-poor creatures, just being still can feel like a luxury we can’t afford.
Yet, busy is often worn as a badge of honour.
Does your response to a question about how you are doing go along the lines of “I’m so busy! There’s so much on,” which is met in kind and then followed up with promises to catch up which no one has time for? Is it because we place too much importance on being busy? Do we look at those people who have time on their hands and see them as unpopular and unimportant? Well, maybe they’re the smart ones.
When people used to say that ‘busy is a choice’ I’d feel inclined to let them know all the ways in which my life was busy and out of my control. But the truth was I’d become addicted to ‘busyness’ – and it was doing me no favours. Quiet time seemed boring and a waste. I would volunteer, organise activities and gatherings and then by the time they came around, I’d wish I hadn’t committed. I’d agree to things I didn’t want to do or didn’t have time for and I had little concept of creating boundaries around my own time, often putting others first.
It can lead to several unfortunate habits (and I’m guilty of many of them): Catching up on texts in the bathroom, scrolling through emails at your child’s school play, or putting off doing the things you love because you are so exhausted.
Busy to the level of being bonkers is not sustainable and inevitably something gives: health and wellbeing, relationships, work, or our happiness. But the New Year can be a time to reflect and look at ways of mitigating our ‘busy’ existences.
Five Top Tips for Reducing ‘Busyness’:
Learn how to say ‘no’ and practice it often.
Find a place of quiet every day, even if it is five minutes of meditation.
Unplug! Start with a little and often. Turn your phone off or to flight mode.
Schedule in ‘free time’ every week.
Acknowledge that it’s impossible to do it all and then give up worrying about it!