Is your lifestyle tied to self-esteem and is it harming your relationships?
I am sure if I went to the Google search field and typed in “busy” I will get endless articles about being busy, how to be more productive, how to make room on your already full plate. It is good to be industrious with our time, and heaven only knows I
It’s okay to say no, sometimes. We don’t have to accept every invitation, job or opportunity. Be selective in what you do. Don’t worry about choosing to do something good over bad, but focus on choose something better over something pretty good.
have with mine, but the problem with me is that it became a twisted competition and gauge on my self-worth.
I did some online dating from time to time and I ended up absorbing something rather toxic during the time spent browsing through profiles. I saw people with their photos of mountain climbing, endless chatter about being what I would call a being “weekend adventurer” (meaning, someone who is off hiking in the mountain, kayaking, snowboarding, skiing, spelunking or any other numberless activities possible here in the Pacific Northwest). Suddenly I felt like a boring homebody with a couple of simple hobbies. (Seriously, I thought exploring parks, buildings, wandering around downtown, camping, casual hikes were too simple in comparison and I needed to be more. They are perfectly awesome things to do and love doing them by myself and with friends.) I felt like I wasn’t doing enough with my nearly none existent “down time”. Couple with my drive to work long hours and ambition illustrations, I was slowly being crushed by self-imposed unrealistic expectations and I didn’t need to be.
It took a close friend to tell me that she thought it was funny that I was excited about adding archery practice to what I called my “non-existent hobby” list. She told me that I was one of the most interesting people she knew who was well balanced and had very interesting hobbies. (and perhaps maybe take my hobbies a little seriously, but as long as I was having fun, where’s the harm?) I had to remind myself that I was happy with what I was doing and found deep contentment in my activities and didn’t need to worry about how others felt about it.
Okay, am I really well rounded and interesting without the hobbies Mr. Rockclimber and Mr.CustomBikeFabricator brag about in their profiles?
I know, this is rather dumb, but I can guarrentee you have done it at one point or another. My answer? Yes, I do the things I like to do, but I rarely take the time to snap pictures of me doing it. What was important to me was doing the activity and not recording it in order to prove it to someone else. I was becoming wrapped up in proving something that I didn’t need to prove. I am enough.
The key things to consider in your life when it comes to being “busy”
- Are you being busy for the sake of being busy?
- Are you busy because it is hiding something else lacking in your life or in your spirit? (aka “I’m lonely”, or “I’m afraid of being alone” or “I’m not enough”)
- Are you bragging about being busy with friends and colleagues to garner attention?
If you can anwser “yes” to any of these things. I have one word for you…. stop.
Being too busy is not going to enrich your life; if anything it will suck you dry. It is slowly taking away your friends, your loved ones and stealing your joy one “I’m busy” or “I’m up to my eyeballs in deadlines” at a time.
You are enough
You are interesting
And you have so much more to offer than whatever is supposedly sucking up your time.
Having a more balanced life requires that you are more efficent with your time and how you invest your time. The only way you can refill your plate/jug/cup is if it is empty first. What does it mean to be more efficent?
1 Refocus your Drive
Find the things that are not serving any purpose and cut them out and focus on the things that are enriching and that help you come closer to your goal(s).
2 Schedule and Set Time Limits
Some projects don’t need to take the entire day. I learned since college that my attention span last for about an hour and then I need to take a break and do something else. Increase your self-awarness and adjust accordingly. Set aside time to meditate, to clean, to take a stroll around your neightborhood. Strike a balance between work and liesure.
3 Set your Priorities
Know what is important and critical in your life. This should be a mixture of things: business, personal, religious, civil, ect. Being a more rounded indiviual creates a foundation for having a more fulfilling experience. It doesn’t mean you have to go outside your comfort zone every time, but it does mean balancing different responsiblities and desires in your life.
It can be fulfilling to have activies and scheduled events in your life. It is well to have a job/career that demends time investment, but we are not robots nor should anyone expect us to be. Being busy should never be an ephemisim for avoidance or superiority. Eventually your reply of “busy” will just be heard as “unavailable” or worse yet “not interested”. Instead, seek to be productive, be a master of efficency and be flexible.