coach blog too busy mindfulness

The surprising truth about being too busy

Feel too busy?

Being too busy. How often does this come out of your mouth?

I noticed a few things about this thing we call “busy” when I was in my backyard recently. I was keenly aware of a particularly loud airplane. I wondered if there’s always been airplane noise like that or not. Has this happened to you?

Or maybe it’s the rhythmic sound of your loving husband’s CPAP machine in bed at night. Sometimes it’s much louder than others…or is it?

What’s different? Is it the actual sound or the perception of the sound?

Someone was talking to me recently about how they were just too busy to have closer contact with family members. Between work and home life, there was just no time.

Hmmmm. Those words just JUMPED out at me like never before. Just like noise from the airplane and the CPAP machine.

Being too busy is really subjective, isn’t it? It’s also such a part of ageing too. As we grow older, we just have so much to do!

I think being busy is something most of us can identify with. However, it’s a thought. It’s a sentence in your mind.

coach_aging4_pinterest (1)Let’s take a closer look.

When someone says they’re too busy, it’s usually related to a thought that the available amount of time to accomplish a task or tasks isn’t enough. The thought, “being too busy,” usually creates feelings like being rushed, harried or swamped.

These feelings lead you to act a certain way, which ultimately produce some kind of a result.  The result always proves the thoughts we have, so if we think we’re too busy to do something, we will definitely be too busy to do that thing and it won’t get done.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not implying that people aren’t busy or that they have enough time to do everything they might like to do.

But there are a few aspects of this phrase that are often misunderstood.

If you believe your thought that you’re too busy as a FACT, then you’re not likely open to other options and choices available.

First, many of us think this state of “being too busy” is a FACT in our lives. It’s just the way it is. When really, there are lots of things that we have control over and make choices about that are related to this thought and resulting feeling. We decide on our priorities and act accordingly, focusing more attention and time on the things we place higher on the priority list.

This happened to me this week. I was asked to go away for a relaxing weekend with friends. I realized I was feeling stressed about it though because I had previously made a commitment to three month course and the homework was due on Monday. Too much going on. Too busy. But I wanted to do it all.  I made a decision not to go, which was in line with my priority to put the necessary time into my course. BAM. My new thought was that I had the time I needed for the commitment I made. Which made me feel great.

With the same amount of hours in the day, we can re-prioritize. In other words, we aren’t too busy to do what’s most important to us. But we have too much on our plate to do absolutely everything we might like to do. The beautiful thing is knowing that we can choose what we think about the time that we have. The skill is to tune into how our thoughts are making us feel and know that we can make changes.

It’s also useful to think about what you make being too busy mean.

Is there something POSITIVE about being too busy? In other words, is there something about it that’s serving you?  For example, is it a convenient excuse for not doing certain things? I would say that this is often the case. It can be an easy out when you believe you’re just too busy, case closed. Perhaps thinking this way makes you feel satisfied and motivated about the work you do, like you’re making a valuable contribution.  Try to be aware of what you’re making this thought mean. The hours of the day are the same. It’s what you make them mean to you.

thoughtsWhat if you believed that you had the perfect amount of time to do all that’s important to you?

Take a second and really think about the potential impact of this thought in your life. How do you feel? Can you see that this thought creates a completely different feeling than when you think you’re too busy because there’s not enough time? Again, we’re talking about the same 24 hours in a day.

Remember, the take-away about this thought is that we have more control in our lives than we sometimes think.  Thoughts can be changed.  We all prioritize. It’s such a great skill to take time to be clear about what we want in our lives and make sure we’re busy doing the things we deem the most valuable to us. Would love to hear your feedback!

This is just the kind of thing we talk about in my life coaching practice. Download my freebie to REGRET PROOF your life…unless you’re too busy, that is.

 

 

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About The Author

Suzy Rosenstein

Suzy Rosenstein has been honing her laser sharp questioning and listening skills professionally for over 25 years. She coaches working women get out of their midlife funk so that they can be happier and regret-proof their lives! Enter your email today on her website for some quick tips and weekly insights about aging with mindfulness and humor: www.suzyrosenstein.com/midlifefunk