We live in a time that glorifies being busy. If you’re not busy, well then you’re probably not trying hard enough. “I don’t have time” has become the go-to excuse for just about anything.
But does this busyness contribute to our quality of life? Is it really a sign of superiority for our species to be constantly busy?
The glorified assumptions around being busy
Some of us might argue that being busy is not a choice, but something that happens to us as we grow up. Being busy has become a societal norm and because everyone is busy, it seems impossible to get out of the rut. It would be really weird if somebody wasn’t busy while everybody else was juggling a gazillion commitments.
Why is it that being busy has become such a status symbol? Because we tie our self-worth to it.
We see being busy as proof of our willingness to succeed at life.
The thing is, being busy doesn’t have anything to do with that.
Being busy doesn’t increase your worthiness.
Being busy is not a sign of ambition, intelligence, diligence, or importance.
Being busy means nothing but having made the choice to fill up our time with a lot of different things. It usually means being stressed out. One could argue that it means having failed at making space for what’s truly important and managing our time so that we can experience joy in our daily lives.
Being busy is a choice
Does that sound outrageous?
That the number of things on your plate is in direct relationship to the number of times you’ve said “yes!” to something? That you’re responsible for how you spend your time? Because you are.
Can you believe that the world won’t blow up if you slowly started to clean out your commitments and do less?
I couldn’t for the longest time.
I believed that being a psychology student while launching a life coaching business and Sensophy’s strategist naturally implied that I would have to be busy and stressed out most of the time. I thought that peace, calm and freedom were feeling states that I didn’t naturally have access to, and that -if they were possible at all- I would have to earn them through hard work and discipline.
Of course, these beliefs lead me to experience a lot of stress and overwhelm. I was constantly rushed and felt like I was on a hamster wheel.
Like most people, I wore my busyness like a sign of maturity and I’m-serious-about-life-ness. I slowly became discontent with my life. I was sick of feeling like there was not enough time.
Shouldn’t there be a way of living that combined striving towards a meaningful life with joy? One where it was possible to feel at ease while we’re working towards our dreams?
It appears the answer to these questions was: Yes. One of the best tools I’ve found is called simplicity.
Simplicity as the antidote to busyness
Why simplicity? To feel at peace and have time to enjoy the present moment. It usually includes simplifying your possessions as well as your time.
How? You could start by reading articles by The Minimalists.
When you catch yourself thinking: “These simplicity folks don’t get it, my situation is different. It’s nice that they get to enjoy this lifestyle, but for most of us, we don’t have that privilege.”
Take a deep breath and read some more, then start simplifying your commitments and your stuff.
Do you believe a simple life where we feel like there’s enough time in the day is possible? Have you made any attempts to get there?