The last couple of weeks have just been stupidly busy in my world and last night, as I collapsed on the sofa, it got me thinking. Am I too busy? What is too busy? Is being this busy actually doing us any good? I fear that with Christmas only a hop, skip and a jump away now it’s only going to get worse.
Even when we ask each other how we’re doing these days, the generic reply is always “Good yeah, busy” or “fine, busy” or something along those lines. The lovely Maxabella mentioned this in her workshop at the Problogger conference earlier this year and it has stuck with me every since.
‘Busy’ has almost become an emotion rather than an occasional state of being.
If I have a busy day ahead (which is more often than not these days) I waking up feeling flustered. My breathing gets quicker and my heart rate rises. Almost immediately I’m stressed, just at the mere thought of getting everything I need to get done that day. I start yelling at the kids for no reason other than they’re just not moving at my pace “Do they not realised how much we have to fit in today – why are they going so slowly??”
I automatically associate being busy with being stressed. When I think about it, I don’t see ‘busy’ as a positive. When Mr asks how my day has been, if it was a busy one, I always respond with something along the lines of “I was so busy today it was a nightmare, the kids were driving me mad, nothing went the way it was supposed to, and all I want to do now is lie down in a dark room!” Yet if I’ve had a quietist day, my response is always the total opposite.
So why do I do it to myself?, why do I take on so much that it leaves me feeling stressed and overwhelmed? Why do I cram so much into a week that by the time I reach Sunday night, I collapse on the sofa and congratulate myself for making it to end, rather than reflecting on what I’ve done or learnt or how much I laughed. Most of the time I can’t even remember what even did.
I’m also missing out on so much too. So many personal emails and cups of tea and chats with dear friends are getting pushed onto the back burner because I’m just ‘too busy’. Really they should be a priority!
The other thing that is really bugging me, is that I’m teaching my kids how to be stressed without even realising I’m doing it. With so many activities going on they never get the chance to just ‘be’. To do nothing, to relax, to be……..god forbid, bored. I spend so much time taking them from pillar to post they are not learning how to do nothing. No wonder they whinge like the world is ending when they’re bored – they have no idea how to entertain themselves.
Stressed out, busy and rushing are really not the words I want to use to describe my days nor do I want my kids to think this is normal. So I’m setting myself a challenge to reevaluate how we do things for 2015 and once I have my plan, I promise to share it all with you.
How would you describe your week in three words??
Have you fallen into the ‘busy’ trap too or have you got any tips to help me change?
Three words. Busy, busy and busy! I have so much work piled up at the moment and am a bundle of stress which is a bad example for my bubs. I’m missing out on family time to make my deadlines and that, my friend, is simply not worth it. I can’t wait for next month to come so we can head off to Bali for a break and so I can remember how to do nothing and just ‘be’.
Ah that sounds like heaven!! It’s just too easy to stuck in the busy vacuum isn’t it!
Bravo Robyn, very wise words. Take action while there is still time to experience and enjoy all those precious moments with children, family and friends. Being too busy does introduce unnecessary stress into your lives, it also accelerates time. Before you can blink, the kids will be grown up and will have moved on. Slow down and enjoy the time you have with them and collect precious memories to treasure later.
Thanks mum, that’s such great advice. It’s too easy to wish time away and I know I’ll only regret it later. I just wish you lived a bit closer too xx
My kids are nearly all school age now and I try not to do too many organised after school activities at the moment. That’s just the decision we made at this point, who knows if its the right one, sometimes I wonder whether I should be looking at exposing them to more opportunities? But I’ve done the crazy, busy, thing and hated that we were all rushing, and frazzled, and close to tears. So at the moment I am enjoying the slightly more laid back life but reserve the right to reevaluate at all times! Beth.
Sometimes you just have to go with your gut when making decisions and if it felt right at the time it probably was. You enjoy the laid back life – I am going to be taking a leaf from your book x
Yes! Totally! Busy-ness is the reason I stopped and started searching for a more purpose filled life and a more simple life. It’s not easy it this day and age, but changing ones ‘busy’ to ‘calm’ = ‘happy’ That’s my equation 😉
Makes perfect sense and I am working on it! xx
I definitely associate being busy with stress too. I don’t like the way it makes me feel or the impact it has on my children. Hearing my two year old say quick quick hurry hurry the other day was an eye opener for me.To get me through this ‘busy’ period I am being as organised as I can be and ensuring I get plenty of sleep and exercise. Bring on the holidays 🙂
I think being organised is essential these days Renee. My problem is that I am just not consistent in my organisational skills. Some weeks I’m on fire and other weeks I’m drowning!!
How would I describe my week in three words: Actually can I choose just one?
Which is possibly just as bad as calling it busy?!
I think I am echoing back at you. I just read zenhabits post this morning- about having a plate that is too full, and learning to say NO. For me, I’ve had to say no to a few things already, so hopefully I will be able to do that again and again!
Very much a common theme this week and at this time of the year (and too much of the year really). I’ve even upped the adjective at time to say ‘frantic’. I think there’s good busy (creative, motivated) and bad busy (overloaded, uninspired). Yoga is my time to just BE, although now I’m teaching it, it’s taken on a different, busier feeling too.
I was almost afraid to read this because i knew that the answer is YES I AM too busy!! Like you I can feel the stress creeping in and winding me up almost as soon as I wake up. I am a bit guilty of over scheduling our weekends recently so I think I might try to cut those back a bit to see if having more down time on the weekend makes me less stressed through the week.
That’s the whole reason my blog came into existence. There was too much busy, too much stress and not enough just being. Obviously there are financial implications for taking a slower path, but essentially a lot of people spend a lot of time working to earn money to buy things they don’t really need. It’s been a revelation for me stepping back into a simpler life.
My problem is I don’t know how to relax so I usually pack my schedule with so much stuff to avoid being bored or not having something to do. Truth is I never have nothing to do though.
My week hasn’t been busy and we’ve very much been homebodies this week because I am in the midst of a medication change and it’s better for all involved if I don’t force myself on the world. I think that being busy has almost become something to strive towards, that if we aren’t busy and stressed then we aren’t doing anything. When in reality (for me at least) on the days that I am busy and stressed I actually get less done because I spend most of the day worrying about how much I have to do!
My week in three words: work, rest, play. Now I sound like an ad for chocolate!! Haha. My life has been crazy busy mostly due to running my own business AND studying for a Cert 4 in Small Business Management, but I knew it would be worth it in the long run, and I was right. What I learned on the course has really helped me make my business more efficient and now I am enjoying the rewards!!!!
Visiting today from #teamIBOT xxx
I think it is that time of the year – everyone seems so busy. I always try to make sure we have at least one quiet day at home each week, though it isn’t usually that quiet for me. My only advice is to try and stay organised – lists are your friend.
I am so completely in the busy trap hun and I totally agree, I always relate busy with being stressed. Gah xx
3 words? – Crazy Roller Coaster. And that’s without me even trying to be busy.
That’s the thing. I think we feel we need to be doing things and get things done in a certain time frame. I say, there’s enough stress in life without adding more on ourselves. Unfortunately, it becomes this blurred line of what is DIY busy or just setting goals and trying to achieve them.
Does that make sense?
It’s hard. I used to hate when I’d ask people how they were and they’d say “busy”. I think we are only as busy as we choose to be. And the last year, since going back to uni for my masters, I’ve been way busier than I wanted to be, but I still chose it. I think we could probably all stand to say “no” more often, and not make our lives so busy, and stop thinking that we need to be busy to make ourselves important. But we are a generation who wants it all, I think, and so we have a hard time saying no. Sorry, I could go on and on about this 🙂 Maybe I should just write my own post! 😉 -Aroha xo
Yes, always busy, and totally sick of the stress related to it!
I’m working on changing it, Robyn x
Guilty as charged Robyn, but what to give up?