The problem with being busy.

“Oh I’m fine, just busy”

“So busy at the moment!”

“Just loads going on, feel like I haven’t stopped!”

How many times has someone asked you how you are, and you’ve responded with one of these answers?  I’m certainly guilty of all three and probably have a collection of quite a few more.

But the thing is, am I really busy? Or do I just think I’m busy?

Today it seems more than ever we are constantly competing with ourselves, and others, to prove to ourselves the busier we are, the more successful we are.

But when we take a step back and look at our workload, most of the time it isn’t as bad as we thought.   It’s too easy to fall in to a trap of constantly feeling busy, especially with a busy working profession such as the events industry – alongside trying to juggle family life, health and fitness, and dare I say it, a social life!

There is a fine line between overworking and squeezing as many tasks into and beyond the working day as possible, and working calmly and with purpose and getting the same results with a whole lot less stress.  So why do we feel the need to tell people how busy we are?

I recently listened to a fantastic podcast in the “Unf*ck Your Brain” series by an incredible life coach called Kara Loewentheil.  She combats the problems we face in a busy world with pressures from many directions and shares practical solutions to get stuff done and achieve goals with confidence.

This particular Podcast, titled: “Busy is a state of mind” shared a story about two women Kara overheard in a coffee shop, who appeared to be competing in the “Busy Olympics.”

“It’s finally Spring in NYC, and earlier this week I was working at a café when I heard two women next to me engaging in the most venerated of New York sports: The Busy Olympics.  Here’s the truth: No one wins the Busy Olympics because winning that game means losing at everything else.”

The focus of the conversation was how incredibly busy they both were, and how incredibly busier one must be than the other.  And this struck a chord with me, because I’ve been there… and I bet you have too!

But being busy does make people feel important, and that’s why they shout from the rooftops about it.  What are some of the symptoms that are caused from being too busy, and how can we change the way we think about it?

Feeling overwhelmed:

When everything is piling up and it feels like you’ll never have time to leave the office, or taking time for yourself is just not on the agenda anymore it’s time to take a step back and look at prioritising tasks and most importantly prioritising self care.  Leave the office on your lunchbreak, step away from emails and take a walk or make it your aim to not check emails and social media for the first hour of the morning.

Blaming Busy

At any given time, the chances are you’re only really working on one project.  It’s probably your brain that has too many tabs open at once, and why it’s so easy to ‘blame’ busy and jump to the conclusion that this is the only answer.  Once you are emotionally invested in how busy you are, it’s difficult to find another way to describe your working week or your current set of projects.  But why not try letting go and harnessing your organisational skills to stop, write a list, and get back on track.  It’s not easy to give up the thought of being busy… but once you’ve done it, you are likely to feel a whole lot more productive than you did before.

Removing “busy” as your go to answer when someone asks you how you’re doing could really go along way in helping you reach your goals and stay focused on your work and your time for yourself.  So why not try it… and see how good it feels to not always be the busy one!

 

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