How many times have you said you were busy in the last week? Hard to count, isn’t it?
Since a young age, we have learned that adults are busy and that it is perfectly normal to always be busy. For many, being busy stops us from living a stress-free joyful life.
Most likely, as you grew up, you complained that you were busy with school, university, work and life. Moreover, if you have a family, you have probably said that your children were keeping you busy and that the days were too short.
Most of the time, we use busy to describe tasks or chunks of time that we have no control over. You often feel busy and have so much to do. In the process of completing tasks, you lose yourself, feel tired and kind of powerless. You hate being busy but feel as though it’s the only way. In fact, you can’t do much about it, so you complain and wish you had more time.
It’s almost a disease.
Maybe you recognize yourself in the above description. Or maybe you are the type of person that loves being busy. Being busy in your head or distracting yourself with technology or social activities is your daily remedy. The truth is, you’re bored when you have too much time on your plate. And quite frankly you would much rather be busy and entertained, than bored and clueless of what to do. Learn how to stop feeling bored by watching a video that I made about how to never be bored again.
No matter if you recognize yourself in the above descriptions or not, I bet you can admit to having used the word ‘busy’ more than once. Let’s stop this madness.
Here are four ways to stop being busy and start being efficient and mindful instead!
Break your automatic behavior
We have to recognize our patterns and habits and realize how often we use negative words or words that makes us fall into patterns. By saying you are busy so often, you entertain yourself to believe that you have no control on your time or on your day. Being busy in the general sense of the term is a state in which you are actively engaged in an action that usually takes away from your leisure time. When you are busy, you somehow feel trapped. It is too often used as a justification and has a general negative connotation. Being mindfully aware of the words you choose to describe what you are doing with your precious given time is so important. You want to be aware of your time and the way you spend it. You need to accept that when you can’t attend a task, you are engaged with your work or occupation and are enjoying being efficient and productive! Don’t let yourself become trapped in automatic behavior and choose the words you are using wisely.
To break the pattern, I encourage you to do the following exercises:
- Try to note down on your phone a small star or symbol, every time you use ‘’busy’’ for a whole week to raise your awareness.
- Catch yourself and change the word immediately. When you catch yourself saying you are busy, immediately try to change it for a word that empowers you, such as “I mean, I am actively working on a project today.”
- Switch a bracelet from the left to the right wrist and vice-versa, every time you catch yourself saying you are busy.
You do not want to be the person using justification. You want to be the person taking actions, which takes us to the next point.
Our language is so rich and yet, we still use the same words over and over again until we feel numb. Surprise others. Realize that they expect you to say you are too busy and have fun challenging your own boundaries and saying new things! Choose new words or simply answer with what you have been doing directly. Explain the things you are working on or what has been “taking your time” instead of simply answering you are busy.
- I am actively engaged in a project I love, but I will come next time.
- I’ve been so efficient today, I want to keep going!
- I feel so productive.
- The kids are so playful today, I’ll go to the park with them.
- My day was so rich in work and projects today.
Take your power back
You are given a precious 24 hours a day to be your most beautiful self. You don’t know how long you’ve got, but you know you’ve got now. Start raising your awareness of how you spend your time. Practice single-tasking and use words that are empowering such as efficient and productive instead of words that make you feel powerless such as busy or tired. Realize that you are choosing how you spend your time. Not necessarily what you are doing, because we do have obligations, but you can choose how you do each and every single task and how you spend every moment. You are passionately working, you are doing dishes with care, you are fully focused on watching your favorite tv show. Don’t let your day become a busy blur. Take control of how you spend your time and you will have much more to say about your day than the fact that you felt “busy”.
Be an example
Lead by example. Be the one in control of your day and how you spend it. Turn inwards to feel in control and joyful and realize that every word you choose to share will somehow influence other people’s lives. You have the power to spread mindfulness & creativity.
French-Canadian Expat in Berlin, my name is Marjolaine, but you can call me Bow. I m a Yoga Teacher, Female Founder, Mindfulness Coach & Pop Singer. I maintain a balance between two worlds with a calm and worry-free mind. Aside from my Mindful Business, you can find my first dream-pop album ”We Better Enjoy Now on Spotify! After travelling & living abroad for over three years, I understand the reality of young entrepreneurs & digital nomads. We all want to live fully, but we sometimes get lost in the midst of life. Are you ready to bloom and discover mindfulness as a tool for change? Are you ready to get one step closer to living your most beautiful & exciting life starting today?
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