How are you?
Ask anyone how they are these days and “Busy!” is likely to be the standard answer.
Expectations from work, home and ourselves are increasing along with our stress levels. It’s almost like a badge of honour – if you’re not busy there’s something wrong. Multi tasking – the skill of doing more than one thing at the same time has almost become a national sport. But is it a skill, is it helpful or productive?
Yes sometimes – I like to to fold the washing whilst watching tv or wash up whilst cooking tea. The quicker I do the boring chores the better!
But other times not so much.
How often have you made telephone calls whilst eating lunch or updated your Facebook page whilst talking to your kids? Is this because we are genuinely busy or more because we feel the pressure of always needing to be seen to be busy?
I’m beginning to think it’s ‘de valuing‘ what we spend time doing. I wonder how valued your kids felt when they realised they didn’t have your undivided attention? How valuable did you see time spent eating your lunch when you realised you’d eaten it but not actually tasted any of it because you were so distracted?
Have you ever tidied up and then can’t remember where you have placed things? Lately this has happened to me a lot! I have misplaced things, forgotten where I’ve put stuff and generally felt I’m spending more and more time trying to get organised. I know I’m being less productive because my mind is jumping from one job to another. I think it’s because I’m in “I’m so busy” mode and can’t find a way out!
Our lives are so busy as we struggle to fit everything in and our minds are so busy we forget stuff, compromise our standards and rarely feel the satisfaction for a job well done.
I wonder, how long do you think we can keep this up for?
If our heads are as full as our calendars, where is the time for spontaneous acts of fun, enjoying the feeling of satisfaction after a productive day, self care, rest and relaxation?
I need white space in my calendar – it’s where my best ideas are formed, it’s the place I recharge my battery, it’s where I remember stuff!
Confucius said, “Wherever you go, go with all your heart” – it’s a good mantra to live by don’t you think? I’d like to add “…and with all of your mind.”
In some Asian countries the word for heart is the same as the word for mind. Coincidence? I think not.
If you’ve read any of my previous stuff, I’m always banging on about slowing down and noticing stuff. If you want to read more on this subject try this post.
I’m challenging you to stop being so busy (or at least stop talking about how busy you are), start giving things your undivided attention, start to slow down.
Choose one thing today that you can do and give it your full attention. If your mind wanders, it’s okay. Let the thought pass by and bring your focus back to the job at hand without judgement – that’s mindfulness. Here’s a few easy ideas to try in your everyday routine…
~ eat a meal and truly taste every mouthful ~ go for a walk and really notice stuff ~ give someone your undivided attention ~ in the shower really focus on the water cleansing your body ~ take 5 minutes to just sit in silence ~ brush your teeth and really think about what you’re doing ~
So, let’s set ourselves apart from the crowd – let’s be fully present, mindful and do stuff whilst really thinking about what we’re doing. People will notice (because it’s different to what they’re doing) and you will feel happier and calmer – guaranteed.
Let’s be less busy.