Everybody is busy. And we secretly think we like it that way.
On Facebook, probably once a week I see a quotation being shared about the amount of time teachers work after hours. And these make me laugh, because I certainly wouldn't have time to be starting my own business, raising a child, having a marriage, and going to the gym, if I worked 20 hours a week outside of my work day!
Stay-at-home parents are also insanely busy, according to Facebook. And yet my husband has timee to work from home, have plenty of hobbies, and run everyday.
Do I doubt that some teachers do work that much after hours? Certainly not! And I am positive that there are stay-at-home parents who are extremely busy.
The busy-ness is very, very real. But it's not necessary. And it's happening for a number of reasons:
1. We use our busy-ness to feel important. Going back to my two examples, teachers may feel guilty about having a very comfortable schedule and not earning a great deal of money. So they show how busy they are, to show how important they are. We measure "value" in a dollar amount, so stay-at-home parents try and define their value in busy-ness. Nearly everyone who becomes busy, has doubts about their "value" and feels guilty about having slow time or down time.
2. We feel guilty about spending time on ourselves. It is through knowing and loving ourselves that we find peace and see our inherent "value," but we feel guilty about doing this. We are seeking to find value through giving to others. Essentially, we are not seeing ourselves as a part of the human race, and deserving of the same care as everyone else.
3. We aren't very good at saying "no." I can't even count the number of times I have overbooked myself, because I was afraid of not being liked. Our intentions are great--we want to help everyone. But the problem is that this isn't possible.
4. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves in our families. This especially applies to parenting. We fear that we are not giving our children every advantage possible, and we hold ourselves responsible for their successes and failures. And so we overbook ourselves with extra-curricular and enrichment activities.
5. We want to do it all. I think back to the scrapbooking supplies, games, and paints that were huge sources of physical clutter. We do the same thing with our time. We want to do and see everything. While this is an understandable goal, it simply is not possible. When we try to do too much, we don't enjoy any of it.
6. We don't use our time efficiently. We try and multi-task. We become overwhelmed and unable to think clearly.
There are so many reasons that we become so busy, and they each contribute to each other. Take some time this week and figure out WHY you are so busy. Which of the reasons above apply to your situation?
Also, this week I want you to make a plan to become less busy. Here are some suggestions:
1. Set aside some time for yourself. Really look and see what it is that you WANT to do in that moment. It is through getting to know yourself that you learn to see your value and to stop seeking it through overbooking your schedule.
2. Make a list of your commitments, and ask yourself which ones are things you really want to do. Can you let go of one commitment this week?
3. Stay focused on the task you are doing, until it is completed. If you feel overwhelmed, give yourself a short break, then break the task into smaller steps.
Make this week the week that you reclaim some time for yourself!
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