Not so long ago, I had read an article that said, “being busy is not a badge of honor.” Those lines are absolutely true! I simply want to say it to all those beautiful, humbling and awesome people out there, who think they are cursed with the disease of being “too busy,” that making time for work-play-life-family-and more is TOTALLY possible! It is in your hands [a little reality check here] to be busy or not to be! Be careful regarding what tag you are attaching to your day, week, month, schedule etc. It is all about how do you classify your time, manage it and most importantly project it!
Did you know about the psychological aspects of using the term busy constantly? Well it not only drains your energy but also convinces your mind that you cannot perform too well anymore. I came across a beautiful research on the psychological aspects of using certain terms, especially this monster four letter word: BUSY.
It is most of the time that we MANUFACTURE our busyness, to make ourselves feel better than someone else. However, we don’t realize the damage that term term is doing to us, to our friends and families (with whom we talk about “our lives” being so busy). Manufacturing busyness is a recipe for unhealthy life! Think about it leads to the most counter-productive life – and believe me, I’ve been there! The day, I realized how toxic this term was, I chose to go on a vocabulary detox (more on this coming below) for 2 months. “Busy” was the first word I banished from my conversations. Don’t take me wrong, it is not that I don’t use the word at all but I am very selective and conscious about it.
We often say we are so busy as though it is something that separates us from everyone else. As if our time is more valuable than someone else. It often becomes as a dishonest excuse to yourselves and the people around, when we don’t see things going the way we would have wanted. So we end up pacifying ourselves and others by saying: I’m too busy to go exercise, I’m too busy to cook, I am too busy to go on a holiday, or I’m too busy to call up or too busy to respond to someone.
Now, how did it sound? Being busy is nothing to be rewarded or be proud of and thank god, I got myself out of this sickness. And this brings me back to the sickness of BUSYNESS, and the ways to cure yourself from it! Here are a few steps that you can take:
1. Go on a language and vocabulary detox: First, calculate the times you use the term busy in your week! Chances are pretty high that you say it quite often. Second, eliminate the use of the word busy and go on the language and vocabulary detox, to cleanse your mind and body. We’ve often heard people say that ‘words have power’ well that is true! You will realize that you are draining yourself a lot less once you have stopped using this term. You will also notice that you are making yourself and others around you a lot happier with this reduction. Do this detox for two weeks and see the change in your productivity, life, work, health and more!
2. Be honest about your situation: Whether you are actually doing a lot in a day or not go by the mantra of show and not tell. No one needs to listen to a broken record of “I am so busy,” even your body and mind would get bored of it. Indeed there are a lot of things that demand attention during the day, however, don’t forget that you are ultimately choosing to do everything. Sometimes, there might not be an option but you can set out non-negotiable time for the things that are actually making you use the word “busy.” What I mean by that is often you would tell a colleague or a friend that you are busy to evade a task or an activity! So when you set out non-negotiable time for things that need attention, you will honestly make it work! Don’t let your mind blanket the situation under the busyness syndrome. At the end it is all about mastering the prioritization game and BEING HONEST.
3. Redefine your success: We draw associations of “busyness” with success. When we say we are busy, it is a way of telling our mind and the people around us that we are driving towards success. However, we do not seem to notice that it is only a game of idleness aversion and unjustifiable busyness. Using the term busy often ends up making people feeling unhappy. As per this article on the Washington Post, we often measure our success with how busy we are with our lives, but that projection only hampers our success!
4. Check out the real deal: Lastly, and very ironically, let me tell you that there is an age old adage that says, “if you need to get a job done, give it to the real busy person.” Now, to delve deeper, I want to go back to beautiful lines that I had read in ‘The Pilgrimage’ written by Paulo Coelho, “the busiest people in life I’ve known have got the time to do everything.” First of all, that is true and second, what this truly means is that if you are actually getting a lot done during your day, you will almost never use the term busy for making it up to anyone or even yourself. You will only focus on the job to be done, the tasks to be accomplished, without raising a comparative pedestal of busyness.
Ultimately, we all need to fit in more work and it is the prioritization game, when played with sheer honesty, that can help one get out of this lifeless sense of busyness! You might want to check out the tips for “making time for things you love” on my Facebook page as well to understand that we “make” time for the things we deem important.
If you got value out of this post, do share it with your friends or those who you think really need to understand and get rid of the sickness of busyness.
If you need more insight, which I’m putting together in my newsletter, then sign up for it.