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The badge of BUSY

I was being a bit of a sticky beak today whilst waiting in line at a department store. I overheard a couple of ladies talking about how busy they were, each trying to outdo the other with who was busier!

C: “Oh Hi Angela, how are you?”

A: “Hi Christine! Great, but super busy.”

C: “Yeah, me too – John’s away at the moment so I’m juggling everything and it’s exhausting”.

A: “I’m used to Michael being away as he travels most weeks, but the kids have had gastro and my mum hasn’t been around either, so I’ve been pretty stretched.”

C: “Oh, that sounds terrible. We had gastro go through the house a few weeks ago too, and then the car was in for a service, and the cleaner couldn’t come…

I think you get the picture…

I must admit, I did cringe a little listening to this, because I’ve been there, wearing the “Badge of Busy” with pride. Responding to the question “how are you” with an automatic “great, busy”.

But, I don’t want to be busy for busy sake anymore. Yes, I have a full schedule, and yes some days are chock-a-block, but I don’t want to be busy to sound important, to validate what I do each day. So I’ve started doing the following, and it seems to be helping:

  • Single-tasking. Spending quality time on 1 task without distraction is a LOT more productive than swapping between multiple tasks and getting nothing done and staying busy!
  • Carving out a minimum of 10-minutes a day to deliberately slow down. Maybe meditate, maybe a coffee (no phone, books or papers), maybe a little nanna nap!
  • Leisure walking. This is one of my daily non-negotiables as it recharges my physical and emotional energy. Somedays I listen to a podcast, others its downtime. Either way, the dogs come with me and we enjoy the fresh air, and a little physical movement.

By adding in these little bits, I’m creating space to unbusy (and make up new words) and I’m happy to answer the question “how are you” with “great thanks” without the busy badge 🙂