In high school I was a sprinter, and I was pretty fast, too…. But, this post isn’t about running, in that sense; it’s about how you move through life.
Do you run, or do you walk?
Lately, when I’m out and about I notice that people are ALWAYS rushing around; driving impatiently; pushing past you in the street; answering the question “how are you?” with “BUSY!” … Really? That’s all we are?
It’s not just people “in general”, it’s me, too! This week, especially, I have found myself feeling overly stressed because I am either too busy to think straight, or feeling like I *should* be busier! WAIT, BUSIER? I want to be busier? I just left my job to become less busy and more productive!
BUSYNESS cannot coexist with BUSINESS <— see what I did there?
Many of us seem to be under the impression that being busy has a positive correlation to productivity and even necessary to being successful – whether you are: a business person, a stay at home mum, a gym-goer or, in any type of meaningful relationship.
I am putting forth a motion that, actually, BUSYNESS robs you blind of any productivity or success in your job and your relationships.
Having more things to do actually takes quality from your life and, more to the point, it steals your opportunity for quality time with other people. How many of you are happy, patient, kind, peaceful, humble, loving etc when you are busy and in a hurry? What gets most of your time? I guarantee you spend your time thinking about all the things you have still to do, as you are trying to start or finish something else. What happens when someone needs your attention? What happens when it’s time to make a meal or go and train? What gets sacrificed?
Just so you don’t think I’m lecturing for the fun of it, this whole lesson slapped me smack in the face this very week and I think it’s important to share it because it happens to us all!
Here are 5 examples of this from my week to date (this list is not exhaustive):
1) I get caught up in a few emails and feel too busy and stressed to drive to the gym –> I missed 2 training days because of this excuse.
2) My mum was talking to me and I didn’t hear her because I had a million things “I need to do” running around in my brain.
3) My friend asks me to go for lunch and I say I can’t stay long … because, guess what? I have a million things I think I need to do. So I keep the conversation from going too “deep” in case it takes too long *shame*
4) I found myself running between clearing the garage, trying to sort out my washing and writing “to do” lists –> then I got sick and felt EVEN worse!
5) Several times each day, I will catch myself wondering which project I want to really focus on and I nearly have a panic-attack because I have so many tabs open on my computer to “sort through”.
Wanna know what the real kicker was?
I GOT NOTHING DONE!
Busyness breeds impatience, distraction, feelings of failure and a perception that you never do enough OR a resentment that you do too much.
This is why running through life sucks! You rush past the beautiful scenery of the day; you miss your friend waving at you; you miss your favorite show; the QUALITY of your work suffers and the QUALITY of your relationships suffer… Never mind your training and diet!
What is the big hurry and why does every minute of the day need to be filled with some task? Stay in one place long enough and realise that each moment you feel that anxiety to get on with other things, you are missing the opportunity to actually enjoy what you are doing RIGHT NOW.
Once, when I was really dreading going into the hospital for nightshift and I was getting all wound up about all the things I needed to do, I prayed for perspective and I prayed for peace over the unrest I was feeling. As I sat still and took a few deep, relaxing breaths, I remembered that where ever I am, regardless of how much *I* want to be there, I have the chance to enrich someone else’s experience … or at least brighten that moment of their day by letting them feel that they are worth my time … Being “busy” robs quality of even the shortest encounters. Even now, that realisation still has the power to settle me.
How often do we rush around in our busy worlds not noticing the time we are wasting chasing things that really don’t matter.
It seems to me this business of busyness is more a question of what you think gives your life meaning, purpose or value. Will you get the answer from the more tasks, money, social events you acquire? Or will you start seeing that your life ALREADY has value – you just have to slow down long enough to really see that. That is when you are your most productive and successful.
Slowing down and walking through life, knowing my value and purpose, has helped me see that it’s not about seeking what life has to offer; it’s seeing that the offer IS life!
“”Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” (Luke 10:41-42)
PS – I feel a *little* bad for luring you here with my title … oops 😉 But glad you stayed long enough to read this!