Busy is a choice

One thing I’ve notice is how busy we all seem to be. We’re constantly going from one thing to the next and wishing for more hours in the day.

But how often do you consider that it’s a choice?

Do you ever consider that you can stop, slow down and do less?

We fill our days with meetings, social media, main projects, side projects, shows, music, YouTube, socialising and so on.

But what if instead you decided to be a little more intentional about how you spend your time.

Instead of filling up your day with a bunch of stuff, why not be more selective? Why not pick and choose what is actually worth doing?

Furthermore, you could even block out time each day or week to do specific things or even just time to do nothing.

Struggling to write

After a week or so of struggling to write I got my flow back, the words began to pour.

I began to think about how difficult it had been to post everyday that previous week, until I caught myself and realised why I hadn’t been able to write as easily.

I’d stopped writing.

In that week or so of struggling to write I’d gotten caught up in being busy and I chose to do other things with my time instead of write. And so I suppose I created this story in my head about struggling to write because it was easier than admitting the truth.

Plus, at times it’s almost cool to have ‘writers block’ just so you can shout about when it’s over.

 

Taking a break

In pursuit of the dream stopping to take a break or to smell the roses might seem like a waste of time.

Why stop when there’s at least fifty ‘leven things that you could be doing at any one time?

A great place to start is thinking about why you need a break in the first place. Perhaps you need to recharge, refocus or change direction.

Those are definitely worth stopping for.

Once you’re truly committed a break will never be enough to get you off track, in fact a break might be a necessary part of the process.

 

 

Baseline Busy

I remember a time when I had one of those ‘What did you get up to at the weekend?’ conversation.

I reeled of a few things but overall I felt like I hadn’t gotten up to much.

However, to my surprise the person I was in conversation with thought that my weekend was actually a busy one.

At first I thought it was a little odd but the more I thought about it the more I realised that my ‘baseline’ is what some people would consider busy.

I work a 9-5, I study part-time, I have a daily blog and a lifestyle blog. That’s my life at a minimum which doesn’t include spending time with friends or family, attending events, reading, sewing and other hobbies.

I don’t always have a lot of free time but I make a conscious effort to do the things that are important to me, like this blog.

Lazy Daisy

Talking is good but doing is better. Lazy Daisy is more than just a strange song by George Clinton or a pair of words that rhyme it’s a phrase that perfectly sums up a trap that so many of us fall into.

Wanting to start new projects, move to a new house, get a new job, take an evening class, learn to drive, visit a friend, exercise, take a holiday or even meditate.

We live in an era of fake busy where it can feel like you have no free time to do the things you want to do. Or maybe, you just can’t be bothered to do them.

It’s much easier to dedicate your evenings to Netflix than it is to dedicate your evenings to yourself. The latter requires much more effort but it is also significantly more valuable.

Don’t get caught in tapping, swiping and scrolling all day pretending that you’re busy when really you might just need to plug out, put your phone down and stop being a Lazy Daisy.

I work better when I’m busy

Often when we’re busy we’re overwhelmed and stressed. We find ourselves only hoping and wishing for things to slow down. We tell ourselves when I’m not so busy I’ll have more time for x, y and z.

And we believe it too. But I often find that the busier I am the better I am at balancing everything I have going on. Then as soon as things slow down I find myself much less productive with my time.

Being busy forces us to manage, it’s a sink or swim situation. We either manage or we don’t. But when we have more free time, the pressure is off, there are no obligations and much more freedom to choose.

So it’s easy for the habit of laziness to kick in. But it could just be because you need a break.

Do nothing

Maybe what you need is to go back to simplicity to sitting down on the sofa with a cosy fleece jacket on and your favourite music playing as you do nothing.

In this day and age it’s almost become uncomfortable to do nothing which is why so often when we take a break from our work we end up scrolling social media, reading articles or watching videos.

But we also need to take a break from those things too because even if they aren’t productive, it’s not the same as doing nothing.

There’s this whole thing about how we should be constantly on the go, doing something, making use of every single drop of time or else it’s going to waste.

Personally I don’t think it’s healthy to never take a break and for many the ‘go, go, go!’ lifestyle just leads to excessive stress or burnout.

So, if you ever feel overwhelmed, try stopping even if it’s just for 10 minutes.

Put your phone down.

Do nothing.

No writing, planning, researching, reading, texting, calling, editing, scrolling or watching.

It could turn out to be quite useful.

 

Do not disturb

What I find to be true for me and perhaps for many others is that we don’t like to be disturbed, especially when we weren’t interested in the first place.

I was recently sat working on some structural calculations when someone approached me, disturbed me even.

They wanted me to vote for something that I had no idea about. Unfortunately for them I wasn’t interested in finding out because in that moment I just wanted to get on with my calculations.

Yet as I tried my best to politely dismiss them they kept on and said that they’d show me the information from their phone, to make it easier for me.

Perhaps this says something about the mood I was in but I wondered how this stranger felt comfortable continuing to try and get me to care when I had already said I didn’t.

I think at first I appeared unexpectedly nonchalant that this person thought surely I can convince her.

I didn’t want to be disturbed yet it took more than 5 responses before this person finally got it.

Sometimes we express that do not disturb sign in our actions or body language; when your headphones are in, you’re not making eye contact or your head is down.

Yet some people will still choose to ignore it.

Busy

I’ve been telling certain people in my life how busy I am but I’ve come to realise that there is more to it than I first thought.

I have a lot of distractions that make great excuses for why I’m not able to give the full effort to certain aspects of my life.

It’s like I’m juggling two balls but choosing to add a third and fourth into the mix even though I’m barely managing with two.

Maybe I’m so scared at giving a couple of things my full effort in case they don’t go well that I just self-sabotage by spreading myself too thin ensuring that nothing will get done well.