I am struck by just how busy we have all become. How we actually embrace “being busy” as if it’s a good friend that we like to hang out with. There are even people who buy vanity plates (especially in Scottsdale……geezzzzzzz) for their cars so they can let everyone know just how truly busy they are. I am even more struck by WHY people (including me at times) keep themselves so busy. In other words, the reasons people choose to stay busy. Yes, it is a choice– a big choice. I learned that through the work of Byron Katie, Martha Beck, Louise Hay, Debbie Ford and Karen Casey.
I’ve also learned this being busy thing is a “story” we tell ourselves. I call it “The Busy Myth.” Now this “choice and story stuff” was pretty hard for me to swallow when I first heard it. I resisted and so do many of my clients–at first. But stick with me here, and read the quick examples of how we made a different choice and turned this around for ourselves.
Busy Myth 1: It won’t be like this when … (Fill in the blank with your “story”: I finish school/college, the house is clean, I’m out of debt and bills are paid, the kids are grown, hit xxx in revenues, the board meeting is over).
You’re Never Stuck Choice: Yes, it will. You and I created this busy-mess all by ourselves. If you create something once, chances are you will create it again. Unless… you consciously choose differently. Choosing differently requires that we recognize the “Story” we are telling ourselves (the above fill in the blanks are just some of the stories). Choose your Life. Your life is now. Don’t miss it. You may be proud on some level of how much you’ve accomplished so far, but you may also regret big time what you’ve missed out on life’s relationships with family or friends. Sounds trite but wouldn’t you rather look at your life in terms of much love, kindness, laughter and time you share? And if you define love by how much you accomplish? SOMETHING IS WRONG, needs to change and yes, you can do it. I beg you not to wait. Your health depends on it.
Busy Myth 2: I can’t change this.
You’re Never Stuck Choice: Yes you can. You always have choice. It took me a ridiculously long time to learn that. One of the ways I got there was to self talk/affirm that I always had a choice. It took a long time for this to sink in my noggin’ but it did eventually.
Busy Myth 3: I don’t have any control over how busy I am.
You’re Never Stuck Choice: Again, yes you do. If you are talking about work or your boss, read the book Managing Up: How to Forge an Effective Relationship With Those Above You by Rosanne Badowski. If you manage up, you will have more time, be even more successful and enjoy your work hard. I know, because I had my own employees do this and they LOVED IT. And by the way, this works on spouses too. Hee-hee.
Busy Myth 4: I don’t have enough time.
You’re Never Stuck Choice: Yes, you do. Really. There are a variety of tools that can help you make this choice. For example. Louise Hay reminds us that is just a thought, and a thought can be changed. (She uses affirmations to change it.) Byron Katie reminds us that this too is just a “story” and helps us change that thought by taking us through inquiry of 5 questions. Karen Casey in her fabulous book, Let Go Now, uses the Al-Anon principles of detachment and reminds us that often times the first step is just “being willing” to experience life differently.
Busy Myth 5: You don’t understand… (Fill in the blank…because you don’t have kids, you don’t have a sick parent like I do, you aren’t broke and need to make a house payment.)
You’re Never Stuck Choice: Yes I understand. I used to run myself ragged. I still do at times. I have to self check all the time and pull myself back from The Busy Myth. But I and my clients have learned is that there is always a solution to this busy stuff. Maybe getting some paid help. Or asking a true friend (who won’t charge you), a family member or a neighbor for help. I talk of this in my book, Lessons From A Headhunter…With Heart! Trust me on this: at their core, people like helping other people. So don’t make my mistake and be afraid to ask.
Okay, that’s enough “being busy” for the day. I think I must practice a bit of self-care and take a nap now. Practice what you preach and all…
Patricia A. Comeford
CEO, YOU’RE NEVER STUCK, INC., WWW.YOURENEVERSTUCK.COM