Yes, I said it. I think busy is a four-letter word. And not a good one.
Are you constantly doing something? A task on your to-do list? A commitment or activity?
Is everything that you’re doing moving you forward personally or professionally? Or the required parts of living, like dishes and laundry?
Or are there things on there that you do but aren’t really necessary? You’re going through the motions, without thinking about what you’re doing? (It’s ok, be honest with yourself here).
I think our society treats being busy as a badge of honor.
We’re a country that doesn’t guarantee time off. Most companies who do offer vacation time only offer about two weeks. And those of us who have vacation rarely take that time. And if we do, we’re checking emails and taking calls.
We never really rest.
Outside of work, we have ourselves and our kids signed up for every activity under the sun. Every minute is a scheduled play date, sports, or music activity. Weekends are full of birthday parties, more play dates, more sports.
We can’t let ourselves or our kids ever utter the sentence I’m bored. (Side note here, I’ve read isn’t actually that they’re bored, but that they want connection with you. And giving them connection, and sitting with them in their boredom for a few minutes, moves them out of it).
We never stop that constantly running list in our head. When we’re working, we’re thinking about the house tasks and if we’ve spent enough time with our kids. When we’re with our kids, we’re thinking of all the other tasks we’re not doing.
So we’re never really present in our lives. This is part of our overwhelm. This constantly feeling like there’s something else we need to be doing.
And we complain about it, but in a way that makes it seem like there’s really nothing we can do about it. (Or that we enjoy it, maybe, we’re not sure. We’re too tired to really figure it out).
So what do we do?
What happens if we say no to a few of those birthday party invitations? To all the activities? Picking one or two for each family member each season?
What if we make time for leisure? For rest?
Those to-do lists are always going to be there. There will always be something that needs to be done.
If you have ways to manage your tasks (something I talk often about here and in my virtual community, Stride Together) you know that your big stuff is taken care of. It’s documented. It’s scheduled. There’s time. So you can focus on the work task or spending time with the kids.
What are you going to do with this leisure?
Want to keep reading? Here’s more!
If you’re struggling with how to make time for leisure or letting go of the guilt of it, schedule some time with me!
Next week, we will look at how to know if you are too busy!