Is our busyness affecting our relationships, communications, health and happiness? In today's world there are a lot of opportunities for keeping ourselves busy and engaged. We have our normal life 'to-do' lists like grocery shopping, house cleaning, jobs, kids, and dog walking, but we also have extraneous tasks, activities and commitments like hobbies, side businesses, and volunteer work. How much is too much?
At what point do we say enough is enough? How much is too much? What are we gaining from such busyness? As Socrates said,
Beware the barrenness of a busy life.
At what point does all this busyness start to become toxic. At what point do we prioritize our lists and activities, start limiting our YES's, and leaving time for self-care?
Over the years I was SO guilty of the 'busy' syndrome. (And yes, I continue to be a work in progress!) I said YES to everything, including writing school newsletters, volunteering weekly at my kids schools, participating in meals on wheels, doing charity walks, going back to school for one certification after another, starting a business, organizing events and on and on it goes. My daily schedule looked like I never slept. And I wonder if sometimes I was busy to just BE busy.
Unfortunately this busyness usually led to a health issue, unhappiness and communication snafus.
But at some point, I started to ask myself, how is all of this busyness affecting my life? How is it impacting my health, my relationships and happiness? Taking a real hard look at my commitments made me realize I needed to stop. Stop the insanity! Making a conscious decision to start backing away from the busyness was extremely hard for me. I felt like I didn't want to let anyone down, including myself.
Which leads me to the point of this blog. We need to take a hard look at our health, relationships and happiness. Is the busyness in your life causing you to negatively affect any of these three? If so, maybe it's time to work on creating a balance in your life.
Prioritizing and Protecting
Prioritizing to-do's and protecting self-care activities are critical for a balanced life. Prioritize your to-do list every morning. Decide what is critical and what is not. Give yourself grace! There is only so much time in a day. Make sure you do something for YOU every day. Mark it on your calendar and make sure its a non-negotiable item. In as little as 5 minutes you can do something for YOU, that will re-energize you in mind and body.
Good health is critical for sustaining life. We need to nurture our minds with positive and loving thoughts and our body with proper nutrition and exercise. We need to take care of US.
Stay in Touch
What happens when we get too busy? We stop initiating and responding to calls and texts to and from our friends. We stop getting together with the people in our life that mean the most to us. Relationships are important to our health. Engaging with others feeds our soul. Our soul needs human
With today's technology you can easily send a 'Hey, I was thinking about you' text to any one of your friends. These days you don't even need to text, you can easily send an emoji or gif or send an audio message.
Reflect and Revisit
Often we need to stop and reflect and revisit our daily lifestyle. Is it positively contributing to our relationships, our happiness, and health? What should stay? What should be phased out? What can we keep on our plate but what can be put on the back burner
Organization is key to keeping a busy schedule on target but ALSO making sure the 3 key elements are fulfilled. One of my favorite things I do every morning is to write in my planner the top 1-3 things that I have to get done that day. These are things that are non-negotiable and can be catastrophic if I didn't (ex. paying a bill). Then I write down 1-5 things that I would LIKE to accomplish if I have time.
We are all a work in progress. I continue to be a work in progress but I have been making strides. I'm busier than I really want to be but I have learned some important lessons along the way. Maybe by the time I turn 100 I will have truly learned to SLOW DOWN.