It’s hard to hear it. It’s a tough pill to swallow. But here it goes: You’re just not that busy.
Yes okay, maybe you have made several commitments to different people in a single week, and maybe each hour of your day has a subject line in your calendar; however, that is a different animal altogether when holding the victimized mentality that your overbooked life is happening *TO* you and out of your control.
Often keeping yourself in the mindset of being busy, is a form in and of itself of our good friend: anxiety. Mrs. Anxiety is a sneaky little bitch…and Mrs. Anxiety likes to show up in our lives dressed in costumes, forcing us to lift her mask in order to unveil herself so that we can take action to throw her in front of a bus.
In the case of busy-ness, we as humans are running around attempting to fill a void that needs filled by creating more and more and by doing more and more. Of what, you may ask? The answer is simply consumption. Consuming people, places, experiences, soccer programs and whatever dragon show you may be loving on. (The same way we as a Western culture consume new pretty material items from Target as a form of what we have coined as ‘retail therapy.’ The brain sees consumption as medicine in it’s own Americanized f****d up consumerism way. I.e.: Your spouse has been not coming home until 11pm every night with a different excuse each time? Better buy some new bikinis and hats for the summer to feel whole again!)
We are covering up the bigger issues of our life by using this protection mechanism of filling our schedules so that we physically don’t have time to bear the truth of what is in front of us.(Damn you, Lizard Brain!)
It’s awfully easy to look over the fact that your teenage son is becoming addicted to porn because your head is buried in to-do’s. It’s a nice safety layer to continue eating like an asshole, continually gaining weight when you tell yourself that you’re too busy to cook yourself a dinner.
What a fun safety net, our busy schedules provide for us. What if we took away that safety net? What if we said “no” to more people who wanted our time. What if our schedules cleared out and only consisted of the things we wanted to do with our time? What if all of a sudden you were able to lift your head from the chaos of everyday life and saw the bigger, scarier issues and dealt with those issues like the BAMF you are.
You are not a victim to your schedule.
If your schedule is packed to the gills with work, meetings, soccer schedules, play dates, speed dating sessions, and whatever events you like to put on your calendar, then YOU are the one who put them there and YOU are the one who is in charge if they stay there. If you say you’re too busy for something, what you’re actually saying is, “I don’t care enough about it to make it a top priority.”
Want to be healthier? Make time to cook at home. Read some books on health.
Want to grow your business? Hire a business coach. Read books. Learn. Go to seminars.
Want your spouse to look at you again the way they did when you met? Date them. Really, really date them. Delete the biases and filters you have surrounding them and take the time to accept responsibility of your part in the unraveling of your relationship.
Imagine this: you’re up to your ears in “being busy” when all of a sudden you get the most dreaded phone call of your life: your dad has had a heart attack and is in the ICU. All of a sudden your day is cleared as you now have all the time in the world to stop everything, get online, buy an airplane ticket to see him in North Dakota and help your mom deal with everything for a solid week. Why can your brain make room for this? Because you’ve attached a super strong “why” to the time you’re choosing to spend. Take this same intensity (but leave the emotion) and attach your “why” to each activity you commit and direct it towards every corner and crevice of your calendar. Create your own life and learn to recognize how Mrs. Anxiety shows up for you.
In the beginning of building my business at Massage Strong, working 15 hour days was very common, even though I had a newborn at home. But my ‘why’ was the strongest ‘why’ I have ever owned. In my deepest most exhausted states, I would remind myself that the reason I was working like this is because I 100% knew in my deepest gut that if I spend the time growing it now, that by the time my kids are old enough to cognitively be aware of my presence or absence, I will have the freedom to spend my days with them however I want, not tied to work. I would say, “Becca, you’re putting in the work now when they’re babies so you can have complete work and financial freedom when it’s really time to be a role model.”
That “why” could have carried me through fire, and in a lot of ways it did.
I am by no means immune to this busy-ness beast. I have put a lot of work into my mindset around time. I won’t take you through all the details of it but I will tell you this: I run two businesses, raise 4 kids, two cats and a dog, push myself to the limits every day at the gym, write blogs now apparently, eat well, and have 100x more time on my hands than my stressed out peers. I wake up slowly. I read at night. I date my husband on the back deck with a glass of wine. I relax and snuggle with my kids. Because I choose to eliminate the other stuff.
Two hours of television per night is 14 hours per week. One hour of mindless Instagram scrolling per day is 7 hours per week. If you sit down and do the scary task of charting your time spent and realizing where all your time is going, you will be in for a surprise that you actually have way more time than you like to tell yourself. All of that work is on you though, I am just here to challenge you into growth.