What is the cost of being too busy?
What is a common response when you ask someone “how are you doing?” or “How are you?” quite often the response is “I am busy“. If we pay attention, we all frequently use this response as well.
Lately I have made an observation the more and more people in our culture are experiencing acute levels of stress and are trying to do more and more. We are busier and busier. Very few seem to know how to slow down. There is a collective momentum to do more and more…
Our society and economic system values doing and achieving. But at what cost? There seems to be a shared inertia of hurrying to complete the current task so that we can do the next thing; to do and do and do… to the point that we are in deep DO DO; we become ineffective at most everything, or we are at such deep levels of stress and distraction that we experience health issues or we just crash and burn.
Collectively we seem to be doing in order to be, but we rarely get to the being.We call ourselves human beings, but we have become human doings with little capacity to just “be”. The irony is “doing” is not a prerequisite for being or achieving happiness. No amount of doing will manifest happiness. Unhappiness or stress arises only when we cannot be aligned with the moment and the present; it is not people and things that are causing our stress or unhappiness, it is our inability to be present and aligned with each experience of life and the ability to just be.
What is all this doing costing us?
Brene Brown, author of Daring Greatly, says that “The busier and more frenetic we are, the more we feel scarcity.” Meaning that busyness leads to feeling more not enough-ness, not less.
“The real cost of busyness is missing out happiness and health. In other words, missing out on life. Busyness is a disease that has to be treated. It is not a badge of honor or the sign of an important person.”
The cost of being too busy.
The true cost of being too busy, are you prepared to pay it? | Debbie Haye
How do we undo the need for doing?
Before engaging in an activity, or committing to one, pause and reflect, “Does this activity match and support my true inner values and bring balance to my life and others?” If the answer in your heart (not your head) is “Yes”, then lean in. If the answer is “No” don’t engage in it and move on. It is that simple and yet that hard.
We are pressured at all levels by society, work, or family to conform to expectations other than our own.
Truly be lucent of any need to avoid any discomfort you feel when or if you slow down. These are questions worth asking oneself:
- Do you feel safer being busy? If so, ask why?
- What are you avoiding by staying busy?
- Do you feel inadequate deep inside, like there is not enough money, time, or affection form others? Does staying busy fill some void in your life?
- What is the source of my need to be busy with: work, family, social engagements, busy planning, busy thinking, busy texting, busy emailing, busy with social media, busy, busy, busy…?
- Does being this busy feel fulfilling to you? If I were to guess the answer for most people is NO.
Listen to the answers to the questions in your heart, not your mind.
What are you doing to end busyness?
For most people the need to keep busy is usually unconscious and habitual.
Here are a few ways to become less busy:
- Seek assistance from others or coaching or guidance with becoming less busy.
- Take several deep breaths, and decide on one thing this week you are going to say NO to (something that doesn’t nurture your soul). Then each week repeat the practice.
- Learn to meditate or learn how to be mindful.
- Deliberately make time for solitude and being comfortable with being alone and not doing.
- Take time to spoil or pamper yourself
Life doesn’t have to be so busy. Your health and well-being matters. Living your purpose with balance matters. Being balanced and present in each moment matters. You matter.