Reasons for busyness and how to overcome compulsive doing

busyness
Photo by Vitolda Klein on Unsplash

With the advent of modern conveniences like dishwashers and other household time savers, pundits predicted we’d have more leisure time on our hands. Hence, less busyness.

But, since then we’ve only become busier and leisure time more scarce. People work longer hours and take fewer vacation days. And technology has only increased our capacity to work longer hours and remotely.

Some say our insistence on overworking comes from a desire for status. Saying you’re busy indicates you’re important and sought-after in this world.

While that may be true, I believe busyness has a deeper purpose. It distracts us from the truth that our lives are not where we want them to be.

Busyness distracts us from the truth that our lives are not where we want them to be. Click To Tweet

I’ve already written about my belief that working harder doesn’t reap greater rewards. We have the 4-hour work week to prove that longer hours do not always produce success.

So why have we insisted on staying busy in spite of the time-saving devices and evidence that it doesn’t correlate with success?

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1. We’re afraid to stop our busyness

Have you noticed the slight shame you feel when someone asks what you’re doing today and you say, “not much”. Even in the middle of a pandemic?

That’s society’s way of stopping you from taking time to go within and find out what lights you up. Even after all the work I’ve done to stop mindless busyness, I feel guilty rather than proud when someone asks if I’m busy and I say “no”.

2. We don’t know our innate worth

You may have been raised in a family that valued hard work. People were not loved for who they were but what they did.

You may have been programmed to believe that only lazy people take breaks or all their vacation days. And you think “lazy” is the worst thing a person can be.

This fear of appearing less than hard-working keeps you slogging away. Even when the extra work fails to deliver additional results or income.

3. There’s a payoff for busyness

Have you noticed when you complete a task or reach a goal you feel a celebratory rush? But it doesn’t last so you jump back on the treadmill towards the next goal.

It’s important to have goals for how you feel apart from any achievement. Let’s challenge the belief that feeling good only comes as a reward for reaching a target.

busyness

How to stop being so busy

Schedule down time into your calendar. Actually pencil in time for yourself where you’ll do self care activities or absolutely nothing.

Acknowledge your emotions. We use busyness as a distraction from negative feelings. But those feelings carry important information about our lives. They tell us what we need and what to change.

We use busyness as a distraction from negative feelings. But those feelings carry important information about what needs to change. Click To Tweet

Learn to sit still. Set a timer and let your thoughts roam. Or journal for ten minutes. Give yourself the time and space to simply sit alone and let yourself be.

You’ll be amazed at what comes up. Time alone to let your thoughts and feelings free can reveal huge gaps between your true desires and how you’re living life.

Connect with spirit. For me, that’s God. For you, it might be a higher power or something else that connects you to a source beyond yourself.

You can find this connection in nature, reading the Bible, prayer and meditation. It’s a reminder there’s something bigger than you, you’re not alone, and all this worldly scrambling is less important than we think.

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