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Too busy: Think again

too busy

It’s very easy to fall in to the trap of thinking that we are too busy. We are too busy to cook a healthy meal, we are too busy to exercise, we are too busy to take care of ourselves. As adults we often believe that we don’t have the time anymore.  We are so busy rushing around doing ‘stuff’ that we give up our healthy eating, exercise routines, friendships and hobbies.

We may even believe that consistently putting everyone else’s needs before our own is the best way to achieve success in our relationships and work. We forget that we cannot possibly do our best at anything if our own physical and mental health is neglected.

Some of us wear our busyness like a badge of honour. We take pride in the fact that we have lots of responsibilities and are needed by many people. The problem is that we are often unable to recognise our own needs within this ‘busy’ life we are leading.

Stop to think for a moment. Who is in charge of how you spend your time? Who has the final say in what you do?  If not you, then who or what have you given the power of your life to and when are you going to claim it back?

‘Either you run the day, or the day runs you.’ Jim Rohn

Of course we all have responsibilities but we also have many choices about how we fulfil those responsibilities.

How busy are we really?

Do we honestly believe that we are as busy as we say we are?  How many times have you heard yourself defaulting to the statement “I’m so busy” when someone asks you how you have been?

I have often found myself saying those exact words when in truth I haven’t really been any busier than usual. Yes, I have had a lot of activities to do and tasks to complete but most of them are just everyday things such as doing the laundry and running the kids to dance lessons. I am simply doing what needs to be done by anyone who is lucky enough to have a roof over their head, food to eat and clothes on their backs. The other things I am doing are the result of living an interesting life.

2 strategies to help you stop being so busy

1) Think about your time and make informed decisions about how you use it. You have a choice as to how you spend your allocated time. If you choose to use it for one activity, that means you are choosing not to use it for another activity. Do you really need to participate in ALL of the opportunities that come your way?

If you enjoy them, sure, by all means go ahead and go to as many things as possible. Otherwise, choose your activities wisely.

When we say that we do not have time to exercise or eat healthy foods, what we are saying is that we have chosen to use our time for something else. It is up to us whether we wish to continue to do that or if we want to make a change.

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2) Think about what you think about. If you have no choice and cannot change any of the things you do then the only thing left to change is your attitude towards them.

For example, if you do not have enough money to get others to complete the mundane, boring tasks such as cleaning and laundry and you can’t find someone to do them for you out of love (wouldn’t that be nice) then you simply have to do it yourself.

Being cross about it and feeling stressed will not help, but adjusting the way you think about the task just might. For example ‘dishes to wash = food to eat’; ‘laundry to fold = clothes to wear’ and ‘a house to clean’= ‘somewhere to live’. When we stop thinking about some of our necessary chores as busy work that needs to be rushed through as quickly as possible to get to the next task, we find ourselves less stressed and more in control of our day.

Too busy

I firmly believe that we are in charge of our lives. We all have at least some say over how we spend our time and the way we think about what we do. If we really want to do something then we will make the time to do it.  If we don’t want to do something then we will find any excuse not too.

What are you avoiding by being ‘too busy’ and what will you do about that today?

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{ 10 comments… add one }
  • Elizabeth - Savvy Sandwicher January 30, 2016, 1:33 am

    I have to schedule my healthy “ME” time otherwise it’ll get used up by all the busyness! I’m also try to incorporate some meditation into my life so that I slow down and assess.

    • lifewrangling@gmail.com January 30, 2016, 6:58 am

      I am definitely hearing you. My form of meditation is my morning yoga. Even 10 minutes makes so much difference to my day that I make sure I make the time in the morning rather than try to find the time in the afternoon.

  • Kitty January 30, 2016, 6:55 am

    Very wise! I think our true priorities show in the use of our time.

    • lifewrangling@gmail.com January 30, 2016, 7:00 am

      Isn’t it funny how someone can tell us one thing and then the way they behave tells us another thing entirely?

  • Karin @ Calm to Conniption January 30, 2016, 7:20 am

    I try to catch myself using the “busy” line. I have one job I keep putting off and putting off… I am actually supposed to be doing it now… I got busy. 😉

    • lifewrangling@gmail.com January 30, 2016, 10:56 am

      Ah, sounds like you might be using the ‘busy’ word to avoid doing something that could be difficult or time consuming. I have a couple of ideas to help with that in my post ‘The magical power of 15 minutes’ here: http://wp.me/p5M3RT-2h
      Good luck and happy Lifewrangling

  • Chrissie January 30, 2016, 12:38 pm

    I get so frustrated with people who complain about how ‘busy’ they are!! They admit his unhappy they are at having so many commitments or things to attend. Everybodies lives are so busy, but at some point you have to take responsibility for yourself in your life & the things you commit to. Personally, I am really good at saying no to things & we always assign one Sunday a month that is just for our family xx

    • lifewrangling@gmail.com January 31, 2016, 2:27 pm

      Hi Chrissie, I think it as an excellent idea to schedule in family time. So often we can let other less important things take priority. I want my children to remember the fun times we had together, not that I was distracted by work or called away on the phone.
      Happy Lifewrangling

  • Rachel Stewart January 31, 2016, 9:06 am

    Saying “no” is so important. To family, friends, partners, school, children etc – most powerful, and sometimes hardest, word, because I’m guilty of saying yes to everything and then getting myself into a bit of a tail spin.

    But I can’t do anything well if I’m always overwhelmed. So, when I’m not “busy” I can actually get more done.

    • lifewrangling@gmail.com January 31, 2016, 2:35 pm

      I’m hearing you Rachel. I struggled with being unable to say no for a long time, particularly in my working life. It gets to the point where people simply expect you to do something and barely even ask anymore. I have had to work really hard at setting boundaries and limits on what I am prepared to take on. It’s dreadful spending your whole day helping someone else and then watching them go home while you then have to turn around and begin the work you should have been doing while you were assisting them. Not fun!

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