The busy hysteria is something we have created ourselves. It is something you choose.
You probably hear it a lot these days – the word busy, “I am busy”. It is almost the only word I hear from people nowadays. When I ask people how they are doing, the usual reply is: “I am busy”. I wonder if it has become a cool statement to say “I am busy”? People are too busy to call, too busy to meet, too busy to make personal relationships a priority, too busy for this, too busy for that.
In a “too busy” world, people have endless to-do lists. You keep telling yourself you have to be productive, keep going and not be lazy. Having a day off where you do nothing is good for you. This allows your body and mind to relax. It gives you time to enjoy life and spend time with your partner, friends or family. What has happened to the little spontaneous meet up over a coffee and a chat? Why does every single thing in life need to be planned? Why do we race through life instead of slowing down and see the beauty in the little things?
Some people are addicted to busyness. There are people who fear “alone time”. Instead every day, every hour, every minute and every second has to be occupied. But if every day is filled up with projects and plans, you will end up getting lost. You will end up confused, not knowing how you feel because you have lost connection with yourself and the people who are important to you. When was the last time you did nothing at all? When was the last time you went on a holiday and took time off? When was the last time you spend a whole day without work, without your phone or computer screen? We all need a break. If you keep going full speed every single day your mental and physical health will begin to suffer.
The busy hysteria is something we have created ourselves. It is something you choose. You cannot blame others for not having enough time. You are busy because you can’t stop or say no. You are busy because you are over ambitious. You kepp yourself busy because you are afraid of empty space and maybe because you fear to be in your own company. I recently spoke to a friend who told me that he hasn’t had a lunch break for 7 months because he is busy at work, and clients might need him. Most of the week he ends up never having his lunch and if he is lucky he grabs a sandwich on the way to a meeting. If he is really lucky he can eat the sandwich being seated (in his car whilst driving to the meeting). This is a sure way to kill yourself!
Most people complain about life being too busy and hectic. But we can choose time over money. We can choose to make our health the number one priority. We can choose not to reply to the email that just popped in. We can choose to change the way we live!Have you ever observed people in a café? It is interesting to see how few people are comfortable being in their own company. Try to observe people around you, or try to observe yourself when you are alone. What is the first thing you do? Do you take out your smart phone and start texting or surfing the internet? Or do you actually take time to enjoy your alone time? Why are we so eager to be busy all the time?
Our time on this planet earth is short. We can choose to slow down, take things easy, allow room for spontaneous meet ups with friends or people we love. We can choose to make time for long walks, hold hands, kiss under the moon light, make time to have lunch breaks or take time to appreciate our life. We can choose not to turn on the television right when we come home to keep the mind busy.
Being constantly distracted and occupied is an unhealthy way to live life. That is why people burn out and the body gets sick. Being busy is not cool. Being busy 7 days a week, hardly having time to breathe is a sign that you are trapped, it is like living in a prison. We put so much value on being on the move all the time, but in the end everything suffers as a result – physical, emotional and mental health, our connection with people, our family, children, friends.
Next time you are busy or rush to the next project or your next appointment, return to the art of slowing down. If you are lost in the busyness, try to stop or pause for a moment, and remind yourself that you can slow down, do less and live more.