Busy seems to be the new “it” thing — busy at work, busy at home, busy with kids. Busy, busy, busy. No time to do this or that, no matter how great it might be for our mental, spiritual or physical health; we’re focused on our overzealous devotion to The Cult of Busyness™.
We like to wear our busyness as a badge of honor, and we’re always one-upping each other with the amount of busyness in our lives. “Oh, you think you’re busy? Let me tell you how busy I am.” That’s a game neither person wins. But if I’m busy, then that means work/family/life must be going well... right?
When you constantly cultivate busyness, there’s always something you can let go. Save your energy for legitimate reasons, and you’ll be able to handle the stressful times in your life much better. Use this simple technique to help prioritize your time:
1. Take some time this week to take a good look at everything you have going on. You can focus on tomorrow, the next week, the next month or even the next year.
2. Make two columns. Analyze all the things you have going on in that time period that contribute to your busyness, no matter how insignificant they might seem.
3. In one column, note everything that takes legitimate time, effort and emotion. Prioritize those things to spend your energy wisely, and quantify how much time you spend on them so you can have an idea of the time you have left over. In the second column, list the unnecessary activities of your life.
4. Look at your daily routines for inefficiencies and complacencies. Prioritize and quantify those, too!
5. Now that you’ve got those lists, start to let go of the things you don’t need. Start small if you have to, but taking the time to look over a written list is the best way to make more informed decisions. There’s no law that says all 24 hours must be filled, so don’t stress yourself to fill them! Take some time to just do nothing once in a while. It can do wonders for your well-being.