Are You Too Busy?

This is a guest post by my dear friend and colleague Deb Blum. It's a topic near and dear to me...

Have you noticed that people talk a lot about being busy? It's pervasive. And, it's as if it has become a badge of honor, a status symbol.

There really does seem to be more to do, more email to check, more events to attend, more activities to schedule, etc. And yet, there is something more to this. It's as if we have decided that we are only valuable if we are busy and productive. Maybe it doesn't even matter WHAT we are doing, as long as we are always doing.

Being busy and telling people and ourselves how busy we are may actually be keeping us us from what we really need to be doing, that which will provide us with a genuine sense of belonging, connection, and self-worth. Is it possible that our real work is in getting less busy so we can be focusing on what matters most to our souls?

Maybe you are thinking “I like to be busy - it’s fun and I am doing all sorts of good things.” Consider, on the other hand, that you are so busy doing GOOD things that you may be missing the BEST things. Maybe you are so busy, you aren’t noticing what you are missing.

Some practical tips for creating more peace in your life:

1. Take technology breaks during the day. Set a timer and every 30 minutes take one minute to walk outside, stretch, breathe or do something else that you find to help you connect back to your body.

2. Take a technology sabbatical. Set a time period where you will unplug for a longer period of time - maybe a day or a weekend....or a month?

3. Stop saying that you are “so busy.” If our thoughts create our reality...what reality are you creating?

4. Ask for help. You don’t need to do it alone.

5. Change your thinking around sleep. Sleep IS a productive and useful way to spend your time. Try to get more of it.

“Sleep is one of the most important predictors of how long you will live — as important as whether you smoke, exercise, or have high blood pressure or cholesterol...Unhealthy sleep remains American’s largest, deadliest, most costly, and least studied health problem.” William C. Dement, MD, PhD, Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences

What’s wrong with doing nothing sometimes?

I think some people are secretly still relaxing, but there is shame in admitting that they put their feet up and watched Downton Abbey without simultaneously folding laundry or working. This shame and guilt just puts more pressure on us and we end up over-stressed - stressed if we are too busy and stressed when we decide it’s time to relax. Let's cut ourselves some slack!

Do you need permission to relax on the couch sometimes? Or to go to sleep earlier? Or not to check your email tonight? Or to leave work early?

Permission granted.

Deb lives in Larkspur with her husband and 9 and 10 year old boys. She is a life coach who supports and guides conscientious parents as they courageously move from frustrated, worn-down, and overwhelmed to inspired, engaged, and confident. You can learn more about Deb and her work at www.inspire4life.com.