A short excerpt from my book ‘Crazy Busy”

“The busier you are the unhappier you get!” 

As a busy career woman in the nineties, I thought I could do and have it all.

And I did, to a point, holding down a demanding full-time job as a teacher while commuting a fair distance to work each day and completing a post-graduate degree in the evenings and on weekends.

If you’re a driven person, it won’t surprise you to know that I still managed to get to the gym or out for a run most days. Did I mention having a husband and being a mum to two small boys?

You can only survive that relentless pace if you have great self-care strategies in place. I did not. It was only ever going to be a matter of time before I got the speed wobbles and things imploded.

Are you living a hectic life, rushing from one thing to the next, juggling multiple commitments, and collapsing at the end of the day? So many of us are.

Few questions:

  • Do you give your all at work or to other people, only to find you have no energy left over for yourself?
  • Are you regularly ‘numbing out’ with alcohol, drugs, food, gaming, shopping, hours of Netflix, or something equally unfulfilling?
  • In conversations, do you regularly zone out and feel guilty about not listening?
  • Are you addicted to your Smartphone, compulsively checking it every few minutes?
  • Even though your relationships are important, do you resent performing the niceties because you just don’t have the bandwidth?
  • Do you overreact under pressure, behave badly and regret it later?
  • Are you postponing what’s important by staying stuck dealing with what’s urgent?
  • Do you regularly wake at 3 am ruminating or worrying about things that are unlikely to ever happen?
  • Is it becoming harder to retain information and learn new things?
  • Does your once sharp decisive mind no longer work quite as well?
  • Has your life dissolved into a rut that’s leaving you feeling ho-hum and blah?

Keeping up the pace is hard.

While a certain amount of pressure keeps you on your toes, today many of us are swamped with information (thanks to modern technology) and constant demands on our time. Self-care is often the first thing to go.

Many of the smart, savvy, high-functioning people I work with tell me they’re drowning under the pressure.

Once engaged at work and in their own lives, they struggle to hold everything together. They want to be present and spend more quality time with their kids, partners, and friends, but work often takes precedent.

They bring their work with them, answering emails and phone calls well into the evening. They know they’re sacrificing their precious and much-needed downtime, but they can’t seem to switch off.

They fantasize about dropping everything and escaping. But running away is rarely an option and hoping our circumstances will change is unwise.

Staying cray busy without adequate downtime slowly erodes your health and happiness. It can even kill you.

If you’ve been packing too much in for too long, it’s only a matter of time before things become overwhelming and you burn out.

‘Crazy Busy’ was written for busy people with chaotic minds who know they need to stop but don’t know how or think they can’t.

It explores how mindfulness practices counterbalance the stress and pressure associated with a busy lifestyle.

If you’re a reluctant meditator (perhaps you’ve tried and failed) – dubious about whether mindfulness works, or doubt you could ever sit still and meditate – then this book was written especially with you in mind.

You can get a copy of Crazy Busy here.

Kerene Strochnetter is the Managing Director of Mindful at Work Ltd. She’s on a mission to make the M-words (mindfulness and meditation) cool in the workplace.

Mindful at Work delivers workplace programs to businesses across New Zealand and Australia, to groups, leaders, and individuals wanting to build resilience, lift engagement, operate at their best, and create a healthier workplace.

To find out more about the benefits of mindfulness for your business, Mindful at Work programs, or one-on-one coaching for leaders please email Kerene kerene@mindfulatwork.co.nz or go to the website.