Ever since I was a teenager, being busy is something that came naturally to me. I knew that if I won’t keep myself engaged in studies or some hobbies, I would be overthinking stuff that wasn’t relevant. I would wear ‘being busy’ as a badge of honor that could make me look as someone who has a lot going on in her life. I never liked sitting idle or letting others feel that I had no business to go about.
But things changed as I entered my twenties. Engaging myself in work and the day-to-day tasks sure helped take my mind off the disturbing thoughts, but I knew it could never be the long-term solution to my problems. I kept myself busy because I discovered it as a way to avoid the real issues in my life – career, relationships and health. I realized that I was losing touch with a lot of my friends by trying to project myself as a busier person. I was a fool to think that being busy made my life look perfect.
I still advocate the need to be busy, only that I have now learned that being unbusy is as much important to lead a fulfilling life. Detaching yourself from the everyday business can do wonders in reconnecting you with the realities of life. In order to get in touch with what you really need and have a desire for, it’s important that you take a break from the numbness that being busy leaves you with and buy some hours to slow down a bit.
If you have been struggling to become more unbusy and want to finally pull yourself out of the trap of ‘being busy’ all the time, here are some very useful ways to do that:
1. Learn to say ‘No’: By saying ‘Yes’ to everything that is asked of you, you are simply engaging yourself in tasks that are not yours to do. Stop pleasing others by accepting their job and focus on what really matters to you. You will earn nothing but a title of ‘a nice person’ by developing a habit of saying ‘Yes’ all the time. Being busy is a matter of choice and the choice of saying ‘No’ or ‘Yes’ lies with you.
2. Get your priorities straight: Rather than trying to accomplish everything during the day, take up a few tasks that are more important and focus on completing them. You may not be able to do everything when you become more unbusy, but you will certainly be able to do everything that’s important more productively.
Moreover, not everything needs to be done right at the moment.Things can wait but not the moments that are passing by when you are keeping yourself busy. Get rid of the things that are too irrelevant to eat up your valuable time and focus on those that are worth it. Prioritize your hobbies and some leisure time over the tasks that are always keeping you busy.
3. Take some help: You might have bitten more than you can chew. Delegate some work rather than trying to accomplish all by yourself. Teaching kids to organize their rooms or simply seeking their help in doing it can ease your job leaving you with a few extra minutes to spend on yourself. Hire some outside help if you are overloaded with work and delegate any job that doesn’t require your undivided attention.
4. Stop glorifying being busy: Keeping yourself busy is good when your thoughts are making you feel worried all the time. But being busy should not become your everyday business. You must accept that it’s perfectly fine to simply do nothing on some days, or instead do something that makes you happy rather than doing what earns you money.
5. Learn to manage your time: Have a to-do list that sets out specific frame of time for all the tasks that you have to do. You can cut back on your ‘busy’ hours by simply being productive while doing your everyday tasks. Plan your day such that you are able to accomplish the maximum number of tasks in those busy hours.
6. Mark a no-work zone: Strictly define the no-work space in your home. Be it your bedroom or your living room, the no-work zone should be your ‘happy place’ where you want to come back to relax. It should be free of any work related objects and must not remind you of your work in any way.
7. Get rid of clutter: Sometimes, it’s not work but the clutter that comes along is what keeps you busy. When you have too much of 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. You’ll find yourself less busy when things become manageable.
8. Schedule downtime: Having some downtime is as important as anything going on in your life. Downtime is that much needed moment of calm that can charge you back up to your full potential. Learn to slow down to take some rest. Remind yourself that you are not a machine and giving yourself a break every now and then is important to appreciate little things happening around you.
Realize the need to get unbusy if you want to live the moments that are passing by. In order to have more time for yourself, make sure that you make smart use of your busy hours. Whatever you do, do it with intention and don’t be wandering around when you are busy doing something. The more you wander, the more time it will take to complete the task in hand and the busier you will become.
Being mindful of the present and making the best use of your time is all that you need to get rid of the excuse of being busy and to live life to the fullest.