Addicted to Being Busy

This month’s topic was prompted by the article On Being Busy which I saw on Facebook. One point in the article is about how technology innovations are contributing to the problem of why people are feeling too busy and overscheduled. So I really find it ironic that I read it on social media. The response to my sharing it with people in my life is what I find interesting. There were three different responses that I will share.

A quote from the article “Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing” resonated with many. I define the concept of being as awareness and full involvement of what is happening around me. Doing is just going through the motions to getting through something. Many people tell me they are in the doing space and feel like they can’t get themselves out of it. Some have said they want to start taking time for themselves and to slow down. They are finding it very difficult to change anything. Simplifying their life can have a positive impact if people make that choice. Others shared that by limiting the things they are involved with has had a positive mental and physical impact. I believe it allows them to be more present with those things that are most important to them.

Another person shared that saying no to something allows you to say yes to something else. It is about being present with what is happening in the moment it happens. This validates my value of presence for me. It validates why I continue to work on it. I believe it is important to take an inventory of where you are at on the busy meter and then making changes if needed.

The next response is from a student who sent me quote from author David Orr:

"The plain fact is that the planet does not need more ‘successful’ people. But it does desperately need more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers, and lovers of every shape and form."

My question is “How do YOU define success?” The beautiful thing is that I get to define it. American culture, the amount of communication and the multitudes of technology create a tension of how success is defined. I remind myself that I can choose what to do with all of that pressure. I hear students joining student organizations, starting their own businesses while still in school and gobbling up as many experiences as possible. They feel like they need all of those experiences so they get the “perfect job”. I had no idea that I would be in the job that I am in when I was in college. If we find ourselves being so busy in order to move toward the perfect job is there a risk that we may not even see it? The perfect job three years from now may not even exist today.

The final response was when a friend ask me the question in the article “When do you feel most free to check in with your heart?” This question is a reminder of how important I am. I need to be willing to slow down enough to notice if I am taking care of myself. I need to be true to myself and not try to be something that is overly influenced by the multiple stressors around me. I don’t have to be the superman that society may be hoping I can be. It is ok to admit the burdens are wearing me down. It is good to set aside some of the things that may be taking energy away from me. I doubt that there is anyone out there that is judging me by my superman-ability. The reality is I don’t think anyone will even notice that I have slowed down. The opposite may happen. They may notice I am focused on more important things to me.

The thing I like most about the question, “When do you feel most free to check in with your heart?” is that someone asked it of me. They asked me and they slowed down enough to listen to my answer.