“being less busy is as much a deliberate and conscious choice as being busy”
I don’t know about you but in the past few years whenever I ask someone how they are I get the response of busy. I too have used this word in the past when asked how I am. So it made me wonder... when did busy become a noun? Read More
As we know being busy in that context is a verb, a doing word, but over the years people started using it as a noun (good) or adverb (well) to respond to how they are.
We have more access to things and technology that make our lives easier than ever before, yet our lives are more hectic, stressed and more...well, busy than ever before.
I found Minimalism over a decade ago and started to live with less and simplify my life in all areas so I could return to using the word busy in it’s true definition.
Here a some ideas to un-busy your life that I slowly implemented in mine:-
1. Learn to say No
This can be one of the hardest things for most people (including my in my younger days), especially when it’s something requested by a friend or family member. You know yourself the best. You know your limits and what pushes you over the edge. Don’t say yes just to please other people. It’s not selfish to think of yourself every once in a while; it’s actually healthy. And for me turning 40 years ago for some reason made saying NO really easy.
2. Prioritising leads to better productivity
Rather than trying to get it all done in one day, prioritise the tasks that are most important and focus on completing them. You may not be able to do it all when you become un-busy, but you will certainly be able to do everything that’s most important and do it more productively.
3. Stop wearing Busy as a badge of honour
Keeping yourself busy is good when your thoughts are making you feel anxious, but being busy should not become your life’s new Title. You need to be able to be happy simply doing nothing at times, or do something that makes you happy and nourishes your soul without feeling guilty.
Sometimes it’s not your work that keeps you busy but the clutter (physical and mental). When you have too much clutter you will have too much to organize that will keep you busy forever. Declutter your home by keeping everything where it belongs and get rid of things that are occupying unnecessary space in your home, head and life.
5. Ask for help and delegate
Don’t be afraid to ask a family member, friend or co-worker for help. It’s not a sign of weakness to shout out for some assistance. Whether that be at work or at home or help with the kids. We all need a hand at times when we find ourselves in busy periods. People will be more than happy to help you out where you can delegate some tasks off your to-do-list, or ask to have the kids looked after while you get some prioritised jobs done.
6. Stop over scheduling
We often over schedule our calendars trying to squeeze multiple things in a day. By doing so we end up suffering the consequences of a lack of time not to mention exhaustion which can lead to health and relationship issues long term. Learn to build in a buffer of extra time for each of your tasks including to and from travel time for appointments and heavy traffic. When you start to say no more and delegate more you will find your new scheduling habits will also become easier.
7. Stress less
Being too busy creates a lot of stress. While there are stress relieving activities you can do such as meditation, sometimes it’s not enough. To become un-busy you should learn to get rid of the stress-causing things in your life. Declutter your mind, relationships as well as your physical space. When you do this you will instantly feel lighter and less burdensome, which in turn will relieve your busy-ness and stress.
8. Learn to rest
And finally, you need to take some me time. When you start to simplify and prioritise all aspects of your life and start to Implement these changes, you will start to find magical pockets of spare time. Don’t fill these magic moments with more busy-ness. Take that time to rest, sit down with a hot cuppa and just enjoy, deep breath, read a chapter or two of your book, or do something that makes you happy. Avoid the urge to scroll through social media. Just rest and relax. If you can’t stand silence turn on some music.
The point is to be intentional with your new found time, whether that’s taking a break for 15 minutes or one hour. And maybe next time you’re asked how your are, you might just be able to respond once again with a noun or adverb!