It is best to keep busy, but – “Crazy Busy?”
“Crazy Busy is a great armor; it’s a great way for numbing. What a lot of us do is that we stay so busy, and so out in front of our life, that the truth of how we are feeling and what we really need can’t catch up with us.” ~ Brene Brown
In recent weeks, I have been considering the notion of, “busy.” How is it that in a world of convenience, people always seem to be so busy? Even, “Crazy Busy!?!” What are we whizzing to achieve?
A friend recommended the book, “Overwhelmed: Work, Love, and Play When No One Has the Time,” by Brigid Schulte. Schulte, a busy working mom and reporter for the Washington Post says, “I am always doing more than one thing at a time and feel I never do any one particularly well. I am always behind and always late, with one more thing and one more thing and one more thing to do before rushing out the door.”
Why do we feel so busy?
One possibility, from my perspective, is the constant succession of tiny intertwined tasks. It is possible finish a “Target run” while answering a new e-mail. It is also possible to pop dinner in the microwave and move the laundry into the dryer before the food beeps to completion. I have certainly been known to eat while driving the mini-van because I perceive I am too busy to sit at the table for fifteen minutes. Perhaps I planned to pay bills, but the internet glitches, so I move onto something else, only to return to the room and see the laptop open and waiting for me. There is an undercurrent of tiny tasks skimming beneath the surface of daily schedules, appointments, and obligations.
As I was scrolling my Facebook feed the other morning, a declaration, “Take Back Sunday,” caught my attention. Initially, I thought it was an underground movement to reign in the demands of our 24/7 busy. It turns out it was just the name of a band! Inspired by less hectic Sundays when big box and convenience stores, e-mail, and other activities were not an option for an ENTIRE DAY, I was even more convinced of the power of dialing down the busy in exchange for sanity!
1. Slide to Power Off – I always turn off my cell phone at night. After reading Schulte’s book, I have also been turning off my cell phone for one and two hour stretches during the day or evening. It is remarkable how peaceful it feels! When I am ready, I turn it back on and attend to any notifications.
2. Have You Finished Those Errands? – I am already in the habit of making lists, planning ahead, and batching errands. It is, however, easy to “run to Walgreens” for convenience. I am now more aware of the toll it takes on the overall “busy” factor for the day and am more conscious of why I want to “run in.”
3. Ditch the Stuff – As a Professional Organizer, I help families with this one for a living. It is amazing how having too much stuff contributes to feelings of, “Crazy Busy.” It takes time to take care of all that extra stuff. Things get lost in the stuff. People don’t realize they have stuff and go out and buy more stuff!…Reduce the stuff!
The next question…What does sanity look like? I have read two books (for pleasure). And ridden my bike to breakfast with friends. Not quite, “Crazy Lazy,” but it is a start!
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