Benefits: Identify the reason(s) you’re staying busy.
So That You Can: Recognize when you need to give yourself a break.
Go From Inspiration to Action With the Worksheet Below!
Are You Staying Busy to Avoid Your Life?
When someone asks you how you’ve been, what’s your typical response? Chances are it goes something like, “Good, good, staying busy you know. Whew, always busy!”
And, when you ask someone how they’ve been, do you find yourself phrasing it this way? “How’s it going? Have you been staying busy?”
Why in the world do we put so much emphasis on staying busy? Like it’s a badge of honor or something. Like whoever stays busy the longest will be given the honor of displaying an “SB” (not to be confused with SOB) emblem on their chest, Superman-style.
That question really isn’t too hard to answer though, is it? We Americans have glorified staying busy since the country was founded. And, as technology has made our lives “easier”, we’ve somehow turned our incessant need to stay busy into a perceived superpower.
Just think of all the people displaying this superpower in their social media feeds — telling you how busy they are traveling, doing home renovation projects, hanging out with friends, and even finding that perfect meal they just can’t help but post a picture of.
But the superpower flaunting doesn’t stop there. Think of the reality shows — especially the home renovation shows — that record people staying busy, barely meeting deadlines, and always facing that unexpected turn of events that means they have to stay even busier than anticipated.
And we don’t even need to point out all the ways our employers make sure that we stay busy — endless meetings and emails ring a bell? But . . .
What’s Behind Your Need to Stay Busy?
That’s what we’re going to work on figuring out today by discussing:
- When staying busy is okay and when it’s not,
- The real reason you want to stay busy (hint, the answer might be in the title), and
- How to recognize when you need to recover from staying busy.
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There’s Definitely a Time and a Place for Busyness
If you’re under 30, you should be staying busy, at least in my estimation. Yes, this is a huge generalization, so let me support this statement a bit.
This is the stage of your life when you’re either in school, working in an apprenticeship of some sort, or gaining the baseline skills you need for your chosen career. When you’re in school, you’re most likely managing your class load, a job, and a social life, i.e. staying busy. And, if you’re an apprentice, or the newbie at your company, you’re probably the dumping ground for all the projects no one else wants to do, and you might be expected to work extra hours — you’ll be staying busy. Or, you might be starting your own company, which will be super time consuming.
This is also the stage of your life when you might decide to start a family, and there are few things on this earth that will keep you busier than young children.
The point is, this is the stage of your life when you are supposed to be busy. You’re learning, growing, and gaining the experience that will give you leverage — leverage that will help you set boundaries around how you spend your time later in life.
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When Staying Busy Becomes Damaging
The Reason(s) You’re Staying Busy In the First Place
Rest and Recovery
Only Have 1 Minute
Sources & Inspiration
Why People Brag About Being Busy | Better | NBC News, posted to YouTube by NBC News on 4.03.17
The Busy Identity | Lexie Harvey | TEDxFurmanU, posted to YouTube by TEDx Talks on 4.08.16
The power of rest and reflection: Daniel Rubin at TEDxIDC, posted to YouTube by Tedx Talks on 12.09.13
Are You Addicted To Being Busy? | Leadership & Management Tips | Jared Nichols The New Futurist, posted to YouTube by The New Futurist on 12.15.19
Emotional Mastery: The Gifted Wisdom of Unpleasant Feelings | Dr Joan Rosenberg | TEDxSantaBarbara, posted to YouTube by TEDx Talks on 9.21.16
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