It’s so easy to be busy — too busy — to see what this busyness is doing to us. At first, it may feel good. Look at all we’re accomplishing, all the accolades we’re receiving for what we’re doing, and thinking about all the future possibilities of being in the race 24/7. Some people can even get an endorphin high on being revved up all the time. However, it can become an addiction — always being in search of another fix.
Proud of Being Busy
Many people are proud of being busy. They think that if they’re not busy, it means they’re lazy, unproductive, or boring. Our worth is then measured by how busy we are, hopefully accomplishing something.
How do you measure the worth of your actions? It really comes down to measuring the ROI (return on investment) of your efforts.
I liken it to eating a piece of chocolate cake, deciding if I like the flavor of the cake enough to warrant the calories I”m ingesting. So, I measure the ROI (in this case, the investment being calories) of the pleasure I’m getting. If the flavor isn’t top-notch, it definitely isn’t worth the calories.
So, tell me, what’s the ROI of your busyness? With all the things you do during the day, which of those things is paying off for you? If something has a poor ROI, you need to ask yourself, “Is it worth it?”
Keep that question in mind the next time you say “yes” to a request made by someone. Every “yes” drains us just a little bit. If you were given only 24 hours more of life, would you have said “yes”?
Is Working Harder the Answer?
When problems start to happen, we figure we’ll just work harder. That should do it. But, it doesn’t because working harder is not necessarily working smarter. In fact, more mistakes happen when pushing too hard or too long. You’re not really doing your best work nor using your best thinking. Smart thinking needs some space, rest and time. Being busy is none of that.
I don’t know about you, but even if I try to give myself that space, rest, and time, I often have a hard time shutting up my mind. I can be in the hot tub at night without any visual stimulation and, instead of just delighting in the peace of the moment, my mind sees it as a chance to go to work. Perfect. No distractions. I’m just as busy sitting in the hot tub as I am when I’m at my desk. Wrong.
Yet, I find it funny that the harder we try to relax and do nothing, the more stressed out we get. Yes, it would be lovely if we all had the wherewithal to meditate, removing ourselves mentally from the world around us. It takes a lot of practice. How many times can I remember listening to meditation tapes telling me that if my mind wanders, just gently bring it back to a neutral, non-thinking state. If you’re like me and just can’t seem to find that state, don’t beat yourself up over it. At least, enjoy the calm of sitting quietly and not being busy.
Busyness Interferes with Life
In our busyness, we don’t realize just how much of life we’re really missing. When we’re not fully present in the moment, being easily distracted, our busyness can be unproductive. Think of the last time you got together with a friend for coffee. Right in the middle of your conversation, your friend’s phone rings. He answers it (as if the world will stop if he doesn’t) and he has just interrupted the great conversation you were having. It’s so hard to pick up the flow and feeling of that moment when your friend finally comes back to your conversation. Is his life that busy that he can’t focus on just one thing — you? It’s also rude and disrespectful. Our busyness not only affects ourselves but others. Is that how you want to lead your life? Is it worth it?