How often do you have a completely booked up diary? How often do you have to turn down something spontaneous because you’ve already got that thing booked in that you booked months ago?
We all have hobbies, side hustles and social lives that we have to squeeze around a Mon-Fri working week, but sometimes we are filling our free time for other, more deeply rooted reasons.
It’s one thing to over book every other weekend, but when it’s after work every day and every weekend, it’s time to look at why you aren’t giving yourself that time to rest.
Digging up the root cause of your busyness
One thing that I’ve been learning a lot about recently is uncovering the root cause of emotional and mental upset. We can never take what we see at face value, especially when it comes to matters of the mind.
When it comes to self-destructive behaviour, there is always a root cause that is the issue. For example, if you are constantly picking your body apart with negative comments, it might be caused by a deeper self-esteem issue. This could be something from your childhood that created the self-beliefs that are the foundation of your body hating ways.
The same thing can be applied to a constant need to be busy. Usually we will use the excuse that it’s not our fault, people keep inviting us to things, or an event will offer an opportunity that we simply can’t pass up, but that’s not always entirely true.
Are you benefiting from being busy? Or is it procrastination?
When we keep ourselves busy, it can be easy to believe that what we are filling our time with is benefiting us in some way. This could be things like:
- Going on lots of dates to find the one
- Constantly working on our social media or website to promote our side hustle
- Using all of our spare time to work on our creative projects
But when you start to drill down into why you are choosing to do these things, you will find that the reason is often procrastination or avoidance.
“There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”Peter F. Drucker
With this in mind, if we take another look at this list, we can see that:
- ‘Going on lots of dates to find the one‘ becomes ‘Going on lots of dates so you don’t feel lonely or so you don’t have to spend time with yourself’
- ‘Constantly working on our social media or website to promote our side hustle‘ becomes ‘Constantly working on our social media or website to avoid doing the things that will actually move us forward with our side hustle, because we are worried we will fail’
- ‘Using all of our spare time to work on our creative projects‘ becomes ‘Using all of our spare time to work on our creative projects, so we feel like we are doing something we love and avoid the fact that we actually hate the work we do for most of our week’
We often hide or bury bigger issues with these surface tasks, in order to trick ourselves into thinking we are doing everything in our power to make strides. All we end up doing though, is filling all of our time we are supposed to spend relaxing, and making burnout and exhaustion an inevitable outcome.
Everything has a root
Like a tree or plant that is leafy and green on the surface, there is always a tougher, more essential root lying underneath the dirt and the compost. It’s not fun to go digging for it, it’s much more pleasant to sit and look at the nice shiny happy things right in front of you.
If you think of it as a weed, or a really annoying shrub that just won’t go away, the only way to stop it from growing into something and getting out of control is to dig up the root.
“Being alone & actually sitting with our own thoughts can lead to such growth and realizations that are rare in our everyday busy lives.”Kourtney Kardashian (Yes, a KARDASHIAN said this!)
If you find yourself constantly muttering the words ‘I can’t, I’m busy‘ it’s time to start digging. There’s a few ways you can start to do this and it may not always be easy or obvious, but with time and a bit of practice you’ll soon be able to uncover what you really need to know.
How to uncover the root of your busyness
Step 1: Sit and think about how you feel about being busy. Is it tiring you out, causing burnout or is it stopping you from completing things that could actually move you forward?
Step 2: Take what you have learned from step 1 and think about why it is making you feel these things. If you are suffering from burnout, is it because you are putting too much pressure on yourself to do too many things? Is it others putting pressure on you? Is it stopping you from moving forward because you are too afraid to say no or you feel guilty about taking some down time?
Step 3: Once again, take what you learned about your situation in step 2 and ask yourself why again. Why are you allowing this to happen, why are you afraid to say no to someone or something, why would you feel guilty about taking a break?
Keep asking yourself why and challenging every answer you come up with, until you hit that eureka moment. Trust me, it will happen!
Sometimes to uncover the things we have buried deep in our subconscious is only accessible when we challenge our own thoughts and feelings and open up an internal dialogue.
Being busy is often our conscious mind trying to escape our subconscious problems, so the next time you find yourself too busy to take a break, challenge the reasons why and decide whether this is the healthiest way for you to live your life.
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