Are You So Busy About?
know you're busy. Perhaps you're even thinking
to yourself, "I hope this article isn't
too long because I have far too much on today
to spend much time reading."
as Henry David Thoreau said, "It is not
enough to ask why you are so busy. The question
is, what are you so busy about?"
the things which keep you running around all
day giving you a deeper sense of fulfillment,
happiness and peace of mind? Do they align with
your values and priorities? If not, perhaps
your busyness is propelling you in the wrong
direction. Or, perhaps it is an excuse to distract
you from facing those dissatisfying areas of
may have heard the saying, "If you climb
to the top of the mountain but haven't enjoyed
the journey, then it wasn't a successful climb."
Are you so busy climbing to achieve your goals
that you are missing out on the views along
encourage you to pause for a moment to reflect
on your busyness; not only about what you are
so busy doing but also how you could be doing
things differently - with less effort and stress,
and with more ease and fun. This will ensure
you are moving toward, rather than away from,
a more enriching and enjoyable life.
your busyness to being more positive and enjoyable
busy is fine when you feel grounded, calm and
on track to accomplishing goals that are meaningful
to you. Most days, I love my busy life doing
work I enjoy, being a mom to my four great kids
- and the list goes on. But some days I struggle
to maintain calm and need to give myself "time
out" to collect myself and rethink how
I can move forward again without the pervading
sense of urgency enveloping me. Nothing is worth
forfeiting my peace of mind and ability to my
busyness and the tasks I need to accomplish
are generally not the issue. Rather, it is how
I choose to think about my busyness and go about
my tasks that determines my daily experience
(and my stress levels).
you sometimes find yourself complaining about
how busy you are as though you had no part in
the hectic schedule you've created for yourself?
Or perhaps your sense of identity derives from
how busy you are and you don't know how to change
with everything, it is all a matter of choice.
Your choice! Ultimately you decide how busy
you want to be, which mountain you will climb,
and you choose every day whether to enjoy the
journey. But if you're so busy racing about
and being all things to all people and preoccupied
with 'what next?' that you aren't enjoying your
life, ask yourself "What is the purpose
of all this? Why am I doing all this? What is
it all for anyway?"
are some practical suggestions for how you can
be more effective in your busyness, without
the stress. By applying these ideas to your
life it is my intention that you will be able
to savor your journey, regardless of how far
you still have to climb.
Over-Committing and Learn to Say NO
there are commitments and responsibilities that
you resent and often find yourself complaining
about (either silently or openly)? There are
times in our lives where we want to take on
more responsibilities and get involved in more
activities (a fundraising committee, sports
...). Sometimes, though, our circumstances change
but we fail to adjust our commitments and wind
up spreading ourselves too thin.
in your attempt to be all things to all people
you find yourself stressed out, exhausted and
unable to properly meet all your commitments,
ask yourself who are you really serving? When
you over-commit your time and energy you are
neither serving the person you are trying to
help, your family (who get the tired grumpy
you) nor yourself.
learn to say no without the guilt, you must
honestly assess the price you are paying in
are doing that is taking up your time (and keeping
you so busy) that add little or no real value?
What can you outsource or delegate? What can
be automated that isn't? If you have a lot on
your plate that means that there are a lot of
requests being made of you. If a lot of requests
are being made of you, you need to start making
requests of others (kids included!). Are you?
You're not doing your kids any favors by not
giving them responsibilities and chores.
you know that disorganized people spend up to
30% of their time looking for things? If you
are busy but continually wasting time searching
for car keys, the file you need for your next
meeting, or your child's soccer shoes, then
spend some time getting organized. The return
on your investment in terms of time saved and
stress spared will be well worth your effort.
Sure Others Value Your Time
the failure of others to keep their commitments
to you add stress to your life and waste your
time? Ensure people know that you expect them
to honor their commitments and value your time.
If someone has agreed to do something for you
and hasn't fulfilled on their promise, don't
ignore it. Follow up on it with them. This extends
also to those people who are always turning
up late for meetings and appointments, wasting
your time in the process. Graciously point out
that you feel they are not respecting your time,
which you value very highly, and ask them to
be punctual in the future.
Energy Draining 'Tolerations'
life you will get what you tolerate. This refers
to those (often small) things you often don't
do anything about because, on their own, they
don't seem significant enough to bother with.
Yet they all add up to undermine the quality
of your day. As W. Somerset Maugham says, "It's
a funny thing about life. If you refuse to accept
anything but the best you often get it."
there is things in your life that drain your
energy or unnecessarily add to your busyness
- an inefficient business tool, a computer that
keeps freezing up, an unreliable service provider,
a problematic client or even those shoes that
give you blisters - don't just complain about
it, do something about it!!! As a general rule
in life, you will get whatever you're prepared
to put up with (and then some!).
have you set the bar for yourself?
Yourself "Time Out" From Your Busyness
Luther King said that he'd never have accomplished
what he did if he didn't spend three hours a
day in prayer. No, that was not a typo
three HOURS a day!!! At times it is important
to give yourself permission NOT to be busy.
Only by taking regular "down time"
to nourish and center yourself to can you be
really effective and efficient with your "up
whatever your excuse for not taking time out
for yourself - to exercise, to reflect, to plan,
to read a book or soak in a bath, to get down
on the floor and play with your kids, to meditate
or to journal, or to pray, don't tell me it's
because you are too busy. Hogwash. The laundry
a shame it would be to reach your destination
(and in record time) - to stand on the summit
of that prized mountain - but to have missed
out on the spectacular views along the way and
all the richness your life has to offer you
. this day
think about that... what richness could your
busyness be depriving you of? Dr. Dwayne W.
Dyer said, "True nobility is not about
being better than anybody else, but about being
better than you used to be."
not suggesting you stop being busy. Just ensure
you are leading a life that is rich in purposeful
activity. Take time out every now and again
to ensure that what you are busily engaged in
is taking you where you really want to go and
that in the midst of your busyness you are moving
closer toward - rather than further away from
- all that fills your heart and enriches your
Warrell is a Life Coach, Speaker,
Writer and mother of four children who specializes
in coaching busy women to enjoy greater success,
fulfillment and balance - less the stress. For
more information visit www.margiewarrell.com