Are We Addicted to Busyness?
In the ever-quickening pace of society, people are busier than ever. They’re over-scheduling and over-planning, whether it’s work, family, friends, volunteering, yoga, or traveling. And in between all that, they’re glued to screens watching more busyness on social media. Busy, busy, busy. I believe there’s an over-arching belief that: The more you do, the more you’re worth. But that’s simply not true. It’s time to slow down. Here are some reasons to reduce your busyness.
When you’re always busy and on the go, things may pass you by without you knowing until it’s too late. It could be things like your kids hitting milestones, exciting opportunities, or your aging parents. Don’t be too busy for the irreplaceable stuff: time. There’s a quote by Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings that says, “All we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to us.” I live by this quote. I’ve come to learn that time is precious, and that I have power over it. I turn off the busyness—reschedule or say no—and choose to use that time for what is worthy. Children will only be young once, and parents will pass. Opportunities can easily slip by. The time you have on this earth with those you love is finite. Decide to prioritize what’s irreplaceable.
Research has shown that busyness curbs creativity. Constant stimulation of the brain due to overload doesn’t allow the mind to reset, be idle, or daydream. There needs to be a balance between linear thinking and creative thinking. Constant busyness causes imbalance, and the brain has a harder time forging new ideas and experiencing deep thought. Most of us need creativity to thrive, both in our personal and professional lives, whether it’s for problem-solving at work or cooking a meal for dinner. Albert Einstein knew downtime was essential. He used music as his muse for creative thinking. Many great scientists and explorers made their discoveries while “doing nothing.” That open and free state of mind is where ideas and innovation are born. As a human race, we can’t afford to lose that. Allow yourself time to do nothing—turn off the busyness, be present, and let your mind roam.
As I mentioned, most people equate their self-worth to their busyness. Your busyness has nothing to do with who you are as a person. It doesn’t paint a picture of your heart, dreams, or desires. Posting pics of your vacations, dinner outings, or friends on social media doesn’t increase your worth in this world. Your worth comes from within, and it’s something no one can post anywhere. Social media has created FOMO (fear of missing out) in people, and it’s causing more busyness in order to keep up with what they see online. Many people are doing things or going places not because it’s in their heart to do so, but for more likes and shares.
Life should be lived with intention, not with fear.
We are all meant to experience life differently. We aren’t carbon copies of each other. It’s time to go within and reconnect with your worth. When viewing social media, remember what Christian D. Larson said, “Be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as I am about my own.” Instead of experiencing FOMO, be happy for others, and know that their busyness doesn’t define their worth or yours.
If leading a busy lifestyle brings you joy and inspiration, excellent. If it leaves you exhausted, empty, and jealous, it’s time for a change. Is your busyness a distraction for what’s really bothering you? Are you over scheduling to fill a void? Why can’t you be still? Be honest with yourself and dig deeper to find reasons for your busyness. Confront them and heal so your irreplaceable time, creativity, and self-worth don’t suffer.
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