We are encouraged to believe in the seeming necessity of being busy in order to get ahead in today's fast-paced world. Many people proclaim, “there's not enough time in the day to get everything done…” Increasingly absurd demands for the sake of efficiency are all being squeezed into already unmanageable schedules. It is becoming apparent that one of the most valuable commodities of the modern age is time. But under this guise of progress, have we been seduced by a belief of being busy at the expense of truly being... and have we compromised our quality of life?
Busy is defined as being engaged in activity, doing something, or full to capacity with activity, people or things. But when you examine the notion of busy, it really just exists as a state of mind. It is an assessment and often a judgment of your circumstances. Understanding your present relationship to the concept of busy is essential before true change can take effect.
1. Be conscious and aware.
Unconsciousness often begins your descent “into the machine.” Without a sense of awareness you may never critically question the invitation of your environment and you may willingly accept the idea that you “need” to become, feel, and express a state of busyness in order to be a productive member of society, often at the expense of yourself.
2. Remember, you are a human “being,” NOT a human “doing.”
You are fundamentally so much more than what you do or even your opinion of what you do. As long as you choose to identify with the superficial world of doing, you have no choice but to delve into the busyness of the world. In order to think you are fulfilled, you will aspire to be filled to capacity with activity, in the hopes that it will create a sense of accomplishment and self-worth.
3. A compelling image of busyness does not equal successful busyness.
Many people create the image of busyness to feel and appear successful with a false sense of pride. This is not true accomplishment. This conscious or unconscious tactic is often a cover-up for personal insecurity, a fear of intimacy, and lack of human connection. This aloof behavior also avoids the deeper, more meaningful internal and external connections that are available in this life.
4. Notice your addiction to drama.
An intense emotional rollercoaster of activity can keep the mind busy and overstimulated, also creating the physiological experience commonly described as STRESS. In a desensitized world many are addicted to the RUSH of being busy and confuse it with being alive. The need for the constant drama of activity is a poor substitution for a lack of connection to deeper experiences.
5. Don’t buy into the myth of multitasking.
Now-a-days, multitasking is glorified as efficiency, but the relationship to this experience is often distorted. Multitasking is defined as shifting your attention between two or more cognitively engaging activities. So in truth, you are never really focusing on more than one thing at time, you are just moving quickly between several tasks. The more items you add to the list, the more your attention is likely to be diluted, forcing less quality time for you to be completely present in each single task. With too many tasks, you will find less completion, which only adds more potential “stress” to your overall experience. By doing less you can often accomplish more. Busy is not necessarily more efficient.
6. Be “experience-focused” rather than “goal-driven.”
Paying closer attention to the experience of your process in any given task and being engaged in the moment minimizes the feeling of overwhelm of “all those things you still have to do.” Shift your focus from the future, which has not happened yet, to the present, where you can be fully engaged and enriched by every experience. This creates efficiency and real productivity. Worrying about the next task only takes you away from what requires your attention in the moment. Choose quality over quantity.
7. Schedule space and unscripted time.
Taking a moment to break up your busy and demanding routine is essential to get back to center. Space opens awareness, awareness provides insight, and insight offers perspective and new opportunities to choose something different that could be more expansive. It has been proven that scheduling blocks of unscripted time (full days or hours of time) allows for unexpressed creativity to flourish, opening unseen insights and solutions to present challenges.
8. Create fulfilling but reasonable goals.
Most of your unreasonable demands are self-induced. Take an honest look where you put most of your time and energy. See where you place value. Re-examine your priorities. Are your unconscious and conscious choices creating the most expansive and fulfilling experience for your life? You always create time for what is most important to you. Consciously re-prioritize your life choices to be more efficient, connected, and engaged... focusing on what you want rather than what you don't want.
There is no denying that our modern lives are filled with a staggering amount of choices and possibilities that can create the overwhelming sense of being busy. But is it true? Your time is valuable. So choose your relationship to your experiences wisely. Don’t buy in, empower yourself, and be aware. Unravel those accepted illusions to create real connection, fulfillment, and freedom to reclaim your experience of true being.
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