When you’re asked “How are you?”, what’s your stock response?
The standard response used to be “Fine”
These days though, you’re more likely to get the reply “Busy!”
Many of us are not too busy because our time management is poor. It is because we are addicted to being busy. Like all addicts, we lament the impact on our performance and well-being. But the “high” we get from being busy makes it easy to justify to ourselves.
Why is this “too busy addiction” so powerful? Let’s investigate . . .
The “feel-good” effect.
We feel great when we’re busy because our brain is constantly rewarding our busyness with awesome dopamine hits. Dopamine is the ‘feel-good’ neurohormone released by the hypothalamus.
Every mini-success we achieve in our busyness gives us a dopamine hit that boosts our motivation to do even more.
Community encouragement and acceptance.
Our society places a high value on being busy. Our conditioning starts when we enter school and is constantly reinforced in the business world; especially in the formal employment sector. We are programmed to believe that being busy equates to being worthy and successful.
Based on this mindset, the busier we are the more valuable we appear to be; regardless of whatever long-term effects are on our health, hearts and souls.
The illusion of control.
It’s human nature to strive for control. When we feel in control, it multiplies the high we get from getting stuff done.
We have a bunch of stuff going on in our lives that we feel we have no control over, and the natural reaction is to busy ourselves with activities that we can control. If we focus on the outcomes that we can control then we tend to feel better about the bigger global issues that we cannot control or influence.
The distraction from reality.
It’s easy to use busyness as a form of protection against some of the realities in our lives that we’d rather not face.
When we’re feeling unhappy and uncomfortable with certain parts of our lives, being “too busy” has a distancing and numbing effect. This allows us to ‘soldier-on’ without confronting them.
Many of our cultures reinforce the notion that if we stay busy enough, the truth of our lives won’t catch up with us.
Which of these factors resonate with you?
There are probably a few more reasons why we engage in being busy rather than being balanced, but these seem to be the predominant and more obvious factors.
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Can you now appreciate that as good as it can feel to be too busy, there usually an underlying reason that’s not related to your workload.
Can you see how your busyness may be burning you out and impacting on your health and happiness?
Are you starting to see that being too busy simply isn’t working anymore?
Addressing it isn’t going to be a walk in the park though.
Some experts are actually calling it an addiction, but I think that’s an overreaction. In reality, it’s just a habit – which is a good thing as it’s a lot easier to break a habit than an addiction.
I think it’s well worth it though. Don’t you want to transform your life and be a person of peace and joy? Wouldn’t you rather choose to relax on the back patio at the end of the day with your loved ones instead of trying to get that one last email in?
You can start by identifying your underlying self-protecting issues that are buried underneath the busyness – and confront them head-on.
If you are looking for help in achieving a better work-life balance, check out my Work/Life Balance Course. I’m currently running a 75% discount.
And lastly . . . always bear in mind that your worth has everything to do with the person you are, and nothing to do with what you accomplish?
Have a wonderful week and take care out there.
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