Busy ALL The Time? 5 Questions To Ask Yourself
Have you ever started a conversation with someone and asked how they were and they reply, “busy!”? This was a common response when I was living in Los Angeles. Big cities, and LA in particular, are places where people go to make their dreams come true, and while they are doing this, they are hustling and juggling a million different projects. Friends and acquaintances would rush around and tell me how packed their schedule was, almost as if they were wearing it as a badge of honor. Somehow, I think people equate their busy schedule to their sense of self-worth. As someone who is also busy, I wanted to explore this a little more. I am a single woman with no children, and may lead some to think that I have loads of free time, but I do not. I have several jobs, volunteer, and pick up freelance work whenever I can. My schedule is usually full and on days that it is not, there is a to-do list waiting for me of articles to write and emails to send. It seems that the list never ends and the only person to blame is me. So, I asked a few questions to explore why we find it necessary to stay so busy all the time.
Am I running from something?
Perhaps all of this busy work is a means of distraction from a difficult situation or troubled relationship. Keeping busy could be your way of taking you from what it is that you need to address and resolve. Whatever it may be, try to peel back the layers to understand the root of what is bothering you and work on finding solutions to that. Maybe then you will feel more comfortable and relaxed in your down time.
Am I trying to make everyone happy?
This question for me is a resounding yes! For as long as I can remember, I have been a people pleaser. It is something that’s followed me from childhood through adolescence and into adulthood and I actively work to change it. When you try so hard to make everyone happy, the only person you let down is yourself. Don’t be afraid to say no just because someone might not like your answer. The truth is, not everyone will like you or agree with what you say. But you know what, that’s all right because other people’s opinion of you is just that, an opinion, it is not your reality.
Am I staying busy to prove a sense of worth?
Constantly finding things to add to the schedule could also be one’s way of searching for validation in life. They might feel that without tasks to complete and someone needing them, that they somehow don’t have a purpose. If you are living and breathing on this planet, then you are here for a reason, your purpose is to be exactly you and give of your gifts to the world around you. This cannot be done to the fullest extent if you are constantly rushing around trying to cross things off your to do list. When you take the time to care for yourself with things like epsom salt baths, yoga, meditation, and general relaxation, you demonstrate self-love and gratitude. This leaves you with more love and goodwill to spread to those around you.
What is it that’s motivating me?
Look hard at what it is that you are actually working towards and decide if that’s truly what your heart desires. I believe that we are motivated by our souls deep desires as well as the desires of our earthly body, which includes our ego as well. Our ego is typically driven by status and power. Perhaps we are working hard for that promotion just to feel more powerful? Or, that new car is more to show off to others than it is for you to actually enjoy. When you are working in line with your soul’s purpose, things usually just work out. However, when you are forcing something that isn’t quite right for you, you will encounter resistance along the way. Take a long hard look at your goals and try to decide what’s driving you towards them. If you come up with mostly superficial responses, maybe it’s time to re-evaluate these goals and set new ones. It’s never to late to change!
Am I staying present?
For most of us throughout much of our day, the answer to this is, NO! Anyone who has a to-do list in front of them is most certainly doing one task while simultaneously thinking about how they will accomplish the next one. The question to ask is, “what am I missing in the present while I am planning the future?” Just the other night, after a long day of work, I stopped in to try a new brewery. Immediately, I went to my phone to check my schedule, emails, and anticipate the next day. After having a realization, I decided to tuck the phone away and immerse myself in the experience that I had come to have. I fully tasted the flavors of the microbrew in front of me and engaged in a lovely conversation with another couple sitting at the bar. This wouldn’t have happened if I had kept my head down looking at a smartphone screen. With tiny computers in our pockets all the time, it is easy for us to be connected 24/7. The difficulty comes in knowing when to disconnect. Perhaps we can set a curfew for ourselves, after which, no screentime is allowed. This gives our eyes and brains time away from an electronic screen to relax and recharge. It is ok to unplug and get to that email tomorrow.
Photo: Thadaeus Lim via Unsplash