Lately everyone seems to like to complain how busy they are every day. College students, children, adults, everyone echos the same complaints. “I’m so busy!” “I can’t possibly add one more thing!”
This blog post by Scott Berkun clearly points out that this culture of busy is ingrained, “That simply by always seeming to have something to do, we all assume you must be important or successful.”
He continues, “people who are always busy are time poor. They have a time shortage.” If you are always too busy, review your commitments. Is there something you’re doing because you’re supposed to, not because you want to? Are you missing out on happenstance opportunities because you aren’t letting life just happen? Are you busy because you’re uncomfortable with sitting still? How many great opportunities have you missed because you’re just too busy? Do your commitments make you happy?
While you’re pondering those questions, think about what being busy really means. This article from Relevant Magazine takes the cult of busy one step further calling it pride.
“People who have not seen each other in a few days or weeks start to catch up, and the talk quickly turns toward comparing notes on how terribly busy we all are,” the author states.
Free time should not be guilt or angst ridden. Free time should be freeing, relaxing, rejuvenating.
A very smart co-worker of mine suggested saying no to just one thing. Just one. If you need a phrase to help you get started, try, “thank you for thinking of me, but I must decline at this time.” See what happens next. Spend an hour (off the clock of course!) doing nothing. When you get antsy after five minutes, sit through it. When you mind screams you should be doing something, ignore it.
What would you do with an extra hour?