Saturday, October 3, 2015

Being Busy Is Overrated

Being Busy Is Overrated

When did being busy become cool and hip? When did being busy become the reason we stopped talking to each other? When did being busy become the reason we stopped taking care of ourselves?

The Bible said, “and on the 7th day God rested.” HELLO?! God made sure we would know it is not all our job, and we have to take a break! We even have commercials now (see busy commercial here) that call us out on it. “Busy, it’s worn like a badge…when did leaving work on time become an act of courage?” Now, I get that this is just a car commercial. They want to sell cars, but come on now - it really takes a car commercial for us to be reminded that busy is just an excuse? And it has become an excuse many people are tired of hearing, and honestly I'm tired of saying.

So speaking of God again:"I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me." Amen! BUT. That doesn’t mean you have to go it alone or do ALL things at ALL times. It means you do the things you have to do. Don’t take on other people’s things. Don’t take on things you have no interest in and that don't feed your soul. Don't take on things out of guilt or your own sense of “I should.” Each day, five times per day, Muslims stop what they are doing and bow down in prayer. They STOP. They are not too busy for their prayers because it's a priority. Most of the world's religions believe in daily meditation to relax and center yourself. Again, they STOP and take the time to not be busy!

What scares me the most about living a life of “busy” is, if "busy" is who we are becoming, what kind of life are we living? Are we taking the time to love those closest to our hearts? Are we being true to who we really are? Is this as far as we're going to go in our career because we're too busy to push? If we step back and look hard at ourselves, are we being the people we want to be?

What do we get from busy? Here's what we get:
  1. We have sleepless nights. 
  2. We end up with thinning hair.
  3. We eat A LOT of fast food meals (which make us feel like crap after a few days).
  4. We create resentment in our relationships. 
  5. We get stressed, which wreaks havoc on our health. 
Yes, it is important to be helpful. Yes, it is important to be involved: community, work, friends, kid’s school, church, etc. Yes, it is important to stay active. Yes, it is important to work hard for your dreams. But what is just as important is prioritizing. That means putting yourself, your family, your friends, your career, and your life first.

So let me ask these questions, and, as you answer them for yourself, make a note of where your priorities really lie. You can extract from this exercise what should really be the primary focus of your time and energy going forward. And just drop the other "busy" stuff.
  • Are you living your life with your face in your phone or computer? 
  • Are you living your life constantly agreeing to do something - but then complaining about having to honor that commitment? 
  • Are you telling your kids, your spouse, your best friend, your co-workers, and/or your parents, “I am so busy today. I don’t have time for _________?” Again.
  • Are you putting off going back to school?
  • Are you educating yourself so you can be eligible for that next promotion?
  • Are you doing your research so you can start your own business?
  • Have you stopped to think that, when you say you don’t have time for someone close to you, you are telling them they are not important? 
  • Have you stopped to think that, when you say "yes" to every other person on the planet but neglect to take care of yourself, you are portraying to the world (including your children, if any) that your own well-being isn't a priority to you? 
  • Have you ever stopped to think that you are so busy, one day, you are going to wake up and realize there is no time left? 
Now, if you were to make a bullseye and choose one ring for the most important people and things in your life, what would it look like? 

This is my bullseye. I do this exercise every so often to make sure my priorities and focus are in the right place and are in sync with my actions. It helps me to check my own "busy."

Make your own bullseye. There is no right; there is no wrong. It is yours. When you are done, stop and see how many circles are in your bullseye and be honest with yourself: Do you want all of those circles? And are they in the right order? Has your "busy" overtaken your life and thrown you off your center? 

1 comment:

  1. Amen!
    This seems so obvious, why isn't anyone else saying it?