I found out the hard way that being ‘busy’ is both powerfully seductive and potentially misery-making.
Busy told me if I just kept working harder and longer hours, rushing, multitasking, and sleeping less, success would be inevitable.
But, ‘busy’ lied…
When I look back over my career it’s abundantly clear that my work didn’t suffer. I still hit deadlines, nailed large projects and achieved accolades. According to my boss at the time, I had a reputation as the woman who saw ‘impossible as just a dare!’
But I suffered and my family suffered.
I wish I’d seen ‘busy’ then for what it is – stress.
Stress is busy’s shadow side.
However, we’re not always aware we’re experiencing stress, because it’s insidious. It creeps up on us, feels familiar, it even feels normal. It may start out feeling buzzie and exciting, but over time it plays havoc with everything.
While it did not kill me (but stress can you know!?) it made me miserable.
Seduced by the modern work culture that glorifies being busy as a sign of job commitment, it’s become the hold grail for being more productive and effective. But the busier you are, the more stressed you are, and the more negative, critical and unhappy you become.
Soon enough, we find ourselves overwhelmed and miserable.
While hard work can make you successful (in the traditional material sense – promotions, earning capacity, better house and car etc.) staying too busy for too long is a recipe for burnout. It leaves you exhausted, cuts you off from yourself, your life, and the people who matter most to you.
Nobody wants that…
I’ve found that when people examine their values about being busy and hard work, they inevitably realise that their other values (which they know are more important, like their family, relationships, personal health and well-being) are slowly slipping away…
We’re busier today than ever before and while it’s easy to blame our circumstances, how we respond to what’s happening comes down to our mindset.
And that’s the one thing you do have control over!
Mindfulness is a set of practices for growing your mental and emotional resilience, so no matter what happens things don’t knock you off balance quite so easily, and if they do, you bounce back quicker.
If you’ve read this far ‘busy’ has probably lied to you too!? The question to ask yourself is ‘what is the impact of staying too busy’?
Be honest with yourself.
If you think you’re on the slippery slope to burnout why not complete the Busy Badge of Honour checklist by following this link. It’s great for seeing which behaviours have become the norm, but are likely to lead to problems long-term.
If you’re thinking about doing things differently in your life please get in touch.