Being busy is a badge of honor. We brag about how little we sleep, how much we work as if saying, "Look at me! I'm a machine!" I know because I used to be this person. There are a few reasons for your being busy:
- Avoidance: the busier you are, the less emotionally available you have to be for those around you -- family, significant others and friends.
In the month of February, I had something on my schedule every night and weekend. I ended up with the flu and wishing I could just press the pause button. The flu forced me to cancel a bunch of meetings which I felt instantly good about. I paid attention to that feeling of relief and decided in the month of March; I'd only schedule one event in the evenings per week.
This does not mean I go home and watch TV every night. I do things that bring me joy and advance some type of goal whether it is reading or writing or going to restorative yoga. I've had to be pretty strict about this which means putting things on the calendar for April when it's the middle of March. Instead of feeling overwhelmed, I feel happier. I am more selective about how and who I give my energy to.
I've never been good at setting boundaries. I'm a giver and end up doing things I hate or spending time with people who I don't enjoy being around simply because I feel obligated to do so. This time management exercise is helping me set boundaries as well as come to appreciate the things and people that matter most to me.
So here is your assignment!
- Track for one week how you spend your time, including your time at work and ask yourself the following questions: Are you fully efficient the entire time you are at work? Are you overscheduling yourself at work with too many meetings? What about outside of work? Do you have time to think and strategize and learn? How is your home life? Are you paying attention to your significant other or spending quality time with your children?
I have to believe that what you do and how you live contributes to your overall health and well-being. So why wouldn't you start by analyzing how you spend your time?
Originally published on my personal blog which mostly addresses mindfulness.