Is it time to be LESS busy?

How many times have you heard this?

Person 1: “How have you been?”

Person 2: “Busy”

I could easily be 1 or 2 because this describes me and most of the people that I know.

When did it become a badge of honor to be overwhelmingly busy?  I am as guilty as the next person and regularly commit to more than I can handle.  Why?  I guess I feel this need to do everything that I possibly can, in an attempt to live my life to the fullest. Or maybe I am just bad at saying no.

As a result, I am regularly overwhelmed, stressed and rushed.  So, from now on, I am going to consciously decide & plan to be LESS busy in an effort to actually live more.  Sound crazy? Yup. Ironically, it will likely take more work than to simply stay overwhelmed and over-scheduled.

Here is the plan (written in the voice of me telling this to myself):

  1. Learn to say NO.  You do not have to say “yes” to every request for your time.  You don’t have to  volunteer for every school activity.  Don’t have to agree to every client rush request.  Don’t have to go to every birthday party.  Pick the requests that you genuinely want to spend your time on.
  2. Schedule ME time. After many years in the corporate world, I get the need to schedule my time to make sure it all gets done (is Outlook a verb?).  But if the time for yourself only comes along when there is a free slot in the calendar, it won’t happen.  Put yourself FIRST (at least sometimes).  Schedule the time to do what you need to chill.  Yoga.  A Walk.  Meditation. A Chick Flick. Gardening. Reading at the coffee shop.
  3. Pad the Timeline.  I get there are things you have to commit to.  But do they have to be done by tomorrow?  Would an extra day be a big deal?  Probably not.  If that is the case, give yourself ample time so that you don’t have to become a frazzled mess meeting somewhat arbitrary deadlines.

Part of this concept is a mind shift that living life to the fullest does not have to mean doing everything possible.  It is quality over quantity.  A few memorable experiences are more valuable than many mediocre ones.  This reminds me of the time where I bought a bunch of cheap t-shirts because they were on sale when all I really wanted was the nice shirt that was more expensive.  I ended up not wearing the crappy shirts.  Sadly, that has happened more than once.

Don’t use the goal of being less busy as an excuse to be a flake.  If you say yes to an invitation, this can’t be justification to not show up because today becomes a “less busy day”.  If you say you am going to be be there, be there.  And be careful of saying no to the invitations of friends.  At some point, the friends may stop inviting.  If something is important to you, find a way to include it in your life.  The idea here is to stop adding unimportant events to your schedule.

Part of the Kalmia Creed that I try my best to uphold is my commitment to my passion.  I won’t have time for my passions if I am not selective about what I put into my calendar.  Basically, if it is not something that will bring joy to my day (or is something that I have to get done for my family or my business) it may have to wait.

There may be times in life when being really busy is welcome and needed.  After a really sad life event like the death of a loved one, it may help to fill that calendar up as much as you can.  I get that completely.  However, recognize when your mind and body need a slow down.  Nothing good comes from being over-scheduled, stressed and frazzled.

If you are super busy and love your life that way, congrats.  I am in no way trying to judge people who are happy being busy.  I am speaking to the women I know who when asked “how have you been” – reply “busy” in a despondent and overwhelmed tone.  It does not have to be that way.  You have choices.  You have control over those choices.  Live the life you want.

xoxo.

 

34 thoughts on “Is it time to be LESS busy?

  1. Beautifully said Molly. I’m so guilty of saying “busy” and then I think back on what I was so busy doing….sometimes I can’t even remember what all the “busy” was about. Moral to that story is that the busy-ness was rather unimportant stuff!

    PS….I love your writing still.

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    1. Thanks so much Bonnie! I think many of us are guilty of thinking we are “busy” yet simply wasting time. That’s not a big deal unless that time could have been used doing something more gratifying.

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  2. Hi! Mollo? It’s wonderful to get the opportunity to interact with you here.

    I must admit that your blog is so good. The concept that you taught in this post is of great importance.

    Just because you are busy doesn’t mean that you are going to be rich

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  3. Part of the reason social media can be so damaging (but I think it’s more positive than negative overall!) is the overwhelming sense that we could always be doing something else, or more, because we see others on the go and posting pictures of their workflow. It can trigger the “oh, I’m not as busy as they are, I need to step it up!” I am so guilty of this. I don’t want to be lazy by any means, but quality of quantity is exactly right for everything in life.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree that social media has forced more business on many of us. My vice in that area is Pinterest – a few minutes on that site and I have a new list of things to cook, places to work, workouts to try, etc. It’s fine in my opinion is those added things bring joy & benefits, but it crosses the line when those things become sources of stress. Thanks for stopping by and for the insightful comment.

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  4. Our culture has quickened the pace of life soooo much from the time when I was a kid. I think it’s a universal problem in our world and, as you suggested, it DOES take a concerted effort to make sure your life isn’t swallowed by the rat race.

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  5. I often wonder why such a little word is so incredibly difficult to say. Is it something that we were taught as children, that “no” is not a good word making us people pleasers to our own detriment. Great post Molly, I hope 2018 brings you lots of “ME” time

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This is such an interesting post. and I would say that I am a busy person because of works and focusing in my blog. and I think I need to give myself a break and give some pamper.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. i don’t think there is anything wrong with being busy with things you love doing. I get overwhelmed when it is too many things I feel obligated to do for some reason that don’t bring joy to my life.

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  7. There is such a fine line of staying busy. I have been working on balancing important things in my life while taking time to myself. The goal is an hour a day. Sometimes it’s 30 minutes or even less. It’ll be a bigger priority in the coming year.

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  8. Loved your post. I am not busy but I feel really sad sometimes cause I am a quiet person. People think I am too busy or egoistic person which isn’t true. I will love to have friends around me during Christmas and every occasion. 🙄

    Liked by 1 person

  9. There is so much truth in what you write! These are very wise tips. I had an example this week. Near the Holidays everything gets a bit hectic around here, the things to be done multiply and it seems each day there is so much to be done if I don’t stick exactly with my schedule I won’t make it! Well, on Monday I came down with the flu, on Tuesday it was my 2 year-old girl, and now my boy is also feeling under the weather. I realized there were SO many tasks I could easily put off and it wouldn’t mind! In the end, I took time to rest and recover and take care of my family, and it wasn’t the end of the world, lol.

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  10. I’ve leraned that ME time is often times underapreciated: it’s so important to actually reserve some of your own time for yourself, especially because having a full time job that demands so much of your atention is exhausting… We as humans need to learn to disconnect and use sometime to really relax and calm down!

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  11. Last year of December I also rush hour to decorate our house because of busy work schedule but even so we still enjoy celebrating Christmas with my complete family.

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  12. This is definitely a wonderful article. I definitely believe that people need to be less busy, as it would significantly help their health and life. When I slowed down it definitely helped my mental and physical health. I was able to do things I had always dreamed of doing.

    Liked by 1 person

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