Slowing your pace can unclutter your thinking,
boost your energy, revive your spirit,
and awaken your passions.
You are living a life, not running a race. Slowing the pace so you’re not racing and constantly playing catch-up begins one step at a time. And the first step is to understand what motivates your behavior and the comfort the behavior provides you. Once you do, you can devise some solid solutions and make space for new resourceful habits to take hold.
You’ll begin doing that by exploring the Ten Signs That You Need to Break Up with Busy, which will help you determine what’s underneath your busy habits. It’s time to get in touch with who you are without all that busyness and to begin setting a new pace that feels right for you.
Ten Signs That You Need to Break Up with Busy
1. You frequently opt out of doing something for yourself when one of your loved ones requests your time.
2. You have a mixed sense of doing too much and not getting enough done.
3. Busy is your new normal.
4. You feel controlled by your schedule.
5. You eat at least one meal each day while standing up or doing something else.
6. You’re experiencing weight shifts, skin issues, or hair loss.
7. You’re not getting enough sleep, you have insomnia, your libido is low.
8. Things you once enjoyed taking time for now feel like inconveniences.
9. You often feel overwhelmed or anxious.
10. You constantly feel like you are rushing just to keep up with yourself.
Do any of these signs feel familiar? Of course they do! Busy is a club with far too many members.
Ignoring these signs may seem harmless enough; however, busyness can put you and your health at risk. Though I could check off most of the items on the list above, like many other Overscheduled Women (OSWs), I ignored the signs until I ended up in the emergency room. Unfortunately, that’s not an uncommon event for many women, nor is having a compromised immune system brought on by ignoring our bodies’ signals.
Busy Has Become A Bully!
The big question is, How did busy become such a bully? Pushing and shoving its way into life as though it belongs and is as important as, oh, I don’t know, things like love, family, and happiness? But there it is, manipulating time to the point that we’re so busy being busy that we feel lazy or guilty when we sit too long at dinner. Oh, but that’s right, who am I kidding? Nobody sits down for dinner anymore — we’re too busy!
The bully of busy cleverly steals our time while promising to give us more. Understanding how busy got so powerful, pervasive, and acceptable will help you begin reclaiming your time and make even more of it.
The Business of Busy
Time is like a Ponzi scheme; most of us feel we never get a good return on the investments we’ve made. Technology has had a profound impact on the illusion of time.
Most of us habitually use loads of gadgets, thinking they aid us in freeing up time and space but in reality, they provide a steady stream of distractions. We can Facebook all our “friends” with a few strokes of the keyboard; we can text a conversation and avoid the time-absorbing niceties that are expected in a phone call. We Instagram our daily moments as if we’re in a professional photo shoot, with age-enhancing filters and hashtags galore to let the world know that we’re important and that we’re busy!
Many of us who once considered the implications of our biological clocks are now surrounded by the constant reminders of the clocks on our laptops, tablets, smartphones, and automobiles. The reminders of time are constant and everywhere.
Technology and its tantalizing time-saving gadgets have turned us into time wizards, like Willy Wonka conveyor belts, pumping out numerous tasks, appointments, errands, meetings, and chores. And thanks to these techy innovations, we can order food any time of the day and have it dashed to our doors; we can date, via the internet, while eating a bowl of ice cream in our PJs at 2:00 PM on a Sunday; heck, we can even file for divorce, pay taxes, and find a relative living in a cave somewhere in South America without ever leaving our backyard.
We can have almost anything we want whenever we want it — and therein lies the problem. Busyness has no boundaries, with its unlimited self-imposed demands steeped in a myriad of expectations.
Our Get-It-Done Culture
Busy goes far beyond the use of technology and our addictive draw to it. The feeling of being rushed and out of time has become embedded in our get-it-done culture. As economies grow and incomes rise, we have attached a financial value on time — it’s worth more.
We negotiate with ourselves over the use of our time, as though we have to ask permission to spend time the way we want. The less time we have, the more we want, and so go the hands around the clock — ticktock, ticktock, until we can’t keep up with our own pace.
We forge ahead at breakneck speed, fueled by the perception that we are running out of time. That perception, along with the cultural acceptance that busyness implies importance and value, drives us to exceed any reasonable list of daily to-dos. We can’t remember what we’re supposed to be doing, or what we’ve already done, without a download or an update because we’re so distracted when we’re doing-what-we’re-doing.
Our preoccupied mind-set lets busyness settle into our lives like an overbearing backseat driver; it’s always a little bit out of view, but you know it’s there because it never stops directing what you do, even though you’re (in theory, anyway) in the driver’s seat.
Busy and Relationships
Our behavior ripples out. As parents, we are teaching our children how to be busy. We feel that by over-scheduling them, setting high standards, and providing them with the newest technology we are helping them get ahead of the pack and ready for a nitty-gritty, competitive world. And although we may be well-intentioned, our continuous quest to get more done in less time, and our efforts to teach our children to do the same, ends up insulating us from each other.
When busy pushes its way into our significant relationships, little room is left for intimacy. Emotional intimacy occurs when we allow ourselves to be present, vulnerable, and aware of our needs and the needs of our partners. When we are distracted by our pursuits, shifting our priorities so that our significant relationships fall in line behind those pursuits, we become disconnected from our partners. It’s unlikely that we will be raised up and invigorated by our relationships if we feel tired, stressed, or unsupported, and it’s doubtful that our partners will feel inspired to support us if they don’t feel they are a priority.
Busy At Work
In our professional lives, it might seem counter-intuitive that doing less and connecting more could be an effective formula for success. Yet when organizations value the importance of professional interpersonal relationships, they experience long-term benefits, such as better employee health, fewer absences, and decreased worry and anxiety.
Cultivating relationships takes time and effort, and unfortunately, when doing so is not considered an important part of an organization’s tenet, opportunities are missed and personal health and well-being are sacrificed. Imagine if we all slowed down enough to get to know the other people we are spending 50 percent of our waking hours with?
Building professional relationships doesn’t need to involve inviting our coworkers to dinner. We just need to slow down, be present, and get to know another person. Doing so builds camaraderie and communication and mutually focuses efforts.
What’s the Price of Your Pace?
What’s the price of your pace? Your health? Your relationships? Your career?
Now that you’ve determined the signs that it’s time for you to break up with busy, you can begin to advance that awareness and discover what motivates your busyness and the importance it represents in your life. The three questions below will help you begin your exploration of both.
1. What motivates you to continue your busy pace?
2. What value does your busy pace provide you?
3. What do you want, and what do you need, to make it happen?
Take a few minutes for each question and consider each with thoughtful consideration; it’s a significant step that will help you gain clarity around your motivations so that you can begin your break from busy.
These questions may not be easy to answer. Perhaps you’ve never thought about what motivates you or considered the concept that busy is a choice, a culture, a behavior, one that entices you to feel important and valued.
Just by exploring these questions, you’ve expanded your awareness, and awareness allows you to recognize your blind spots and build on your strengths. So, congratulations! You’re on your way to breaking up with busy and starting to live your life instead of just running the race.
Copyright ©2018 by Yvonne Tally.
Reprinted with permission from New World Library
Breaking Up with Busy: Real-Life Solutions for Overscheduled Women
by Yvonne Tally
Overbooking and undersleeping have almost become status symbols, and having it all seems to be synonymous with doing it all, yet what do we really accomplish with so much busyness? Yvonne Tally wants to give you back your life by helping you break the busyness habit. She offers realistic, step-by-step, and even fun ways to get off the busyness hamster wheel and reclaim your time. Yvonne shows how the benefits of living a more balanced life can improve your longevity and spiritual well-being.
About the Author
Yvonne Tally leads meditation and mindfulness programs for corporations, private groups, and individuals in Silicon Valley and throughout the United States. She is an NLP Master Practitioner and cofounded Poised Inc., a fitness and lifestyle company. She is the creator of VMind Fitness™; a life-transforming holistic method using your own untapped potential and personal power to create and live your passion and purpose. Yvonne is the Meditation and De-Stressing Specialist for the City of Palo Alto. Visit her website at https://yvonnetally.com/