Stop the Glorification of Busy

Let’s Start a Movement. The De-glorification of Busy

Let’s Start a Movement. The De-glorification of Busy

Holy Crap I’m Busy – Changing our Culture from Chaos to Calm

FACT:  “The state of Busy and Overwhelm is costing the Canadian economy over $33 billion dollars per year  and billions more in healthcare costs, in stress/fatigue-related illnesses and accidents.

FACT:  Physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health are all affected by the ‘new norm’ of lifestyle that most of us are living with today. In 2015, It’s the fastest growing cost of workplace disability insurance claims.

In 2014, I decided to do my own research to find out why so few of us make any real changes to our lives when we know we are pushed to the limit. Below is the question I asked and what I found out. 4000 people surveyed, here’s what they had to say.

“If you know there is a change you want to make in your life, what keeps you from making it?”

1. Fear. Not knowing the outcome keeps me from making changes.

2. I don’t have time. My life is too full right now to even think about making more changes ( I am living in a world of clutter.).

3. I over-think and need to plan before I make any changes.

In case you were wondering, money and relationships came in fourth and fifth as reasons most people do not move on changes they know they should.

As you can see, according to my research, we’re allowing Fear to rule our lives. One thing we do know is that our base level of general happiness is lacking or even non-existent. And yet, we keep filling our lives with clutter. Basically, we keep adding ‘stuff’, because the ‘culture’ we have created, this full-plate life, supports it.

And where has the “Standard of Busy” gotten us?

We’re physically busy, mentally busy and emotionally drained. In spite of all of our efforts to avoid fear, we feel overwhelmed, frustrated, resentful and simply unhappy.

But alas, we have all the power to choose to Break the Busy cycle, if we really want to. Just recognize that we have created clutter (physical, emotional, mental and spiritual) so we don’t actually have to ‘deal’ with ourselves. It’s easy to not look in the mirror of who we are, when we can’t find the mirror.

Second answer to the question: “I don’t have TIME. My life is too FULL.”

What is it about the badge of honor of BUSY, that is so appealing.

If I had too much “down time,” I thought I was lazy and could be doing something else. If I was busy, I was creating the possibility of a better life in the future.  But as we all know, THERE never seems to arrive.

I received great feedback when I was moving all the time. This feedback made me feel valued, and became how I defined myself.

News flash! Only one part of us needs all this reassurance and stroking: Our Egos.

Does this sound familiar? “Look at all the stuff you’ve got going on!” “I don’t know how you do it all.” “You amaze me!”

I mean, look at yourself: You have a full-time career and a small business on the side. You are building a new house or renovating the old one. You are coaching this team, and driving your kids here and there. Oh yeah, and then there’s the constant fundraising.  And then we can’t figure out why we can’t sleep well.

I over-think… and need to plan before I make changes. Those of you who are thinkers need to know that we are all motivated by our fears, and the biggest fear for a thinker is making a mistake. You will do and re-do everything, just to avoid the possibility of making a mistake. Being out of control, or even appearing to be out of control, is a very uncomfortable situation for you. Decision-making is a laborious process in your (over-thinking) mind.

But here’s the catch: life is messy. Random acts of shitty happen almost daily, adding some bumps or foot-deep potholes to your nicely-carved out road. You have either found a way to deal with the daily changes, or you avoid them all together, but I’m going to propose something new: Before you can get your mind to take a break from incessant thinking, you have to make friends with it. If you try to tell your mind to go away, or that you don’t need it, it will just work harder to control you. Such is the power of our ego mind.

So… take a deep breath, and just move on anything. As one bee said to the other bee while they hovered over a field of flowers; “Stan, just pick one flower and start from there”.  Let the De-cluttering begin.

Linda Edgecombe
Canadian Speaker Hall of Fame