Yes, but you are busy, I get it. Just hear me out. Someone I have a lot of respect for recently asked me about my blog. They were curious why I hadn’t posted an update in a while. I kind of brushed it off with the usual “I’ve just been really busy.” (That’s a cope out, by the way). Without missing a beat they replied matter of factly, “Busy is a state of mind.” I didn’t know what to say and I thought about that statement for hours afterwards. I’m still thinking about it. Busy is a state of mind. Is it really? I mean, I am busy… I think…
If it weren’t for the fact that the person who said this to me is one of the busiest people I’ve ever met, I might not have thought much more of it. My mind has replayed my own current daily agenda over and over as I’ve analyzed that statement for days on end and tried to figure out how I could sneak some more time in to my days.
On a weekly basis, between my two jobs, I work on average 4 days that range from 10-14 hours each and an additional 1-2 days with a more typical 8 hour window. On days or evenings that I’m not working I try to catch up on life, spend some time with my horse, cook up some things in the kitchen, work on my blog, do some culinary related studying and relax my brain. I’m busy. Aren’t I? Aren’t you? Aren’t we all??
Busy is a state of mind. The more I thought about that statement the more I came to understand it, in my own way. Let’s stop for a second and think about what “being busy” really means. When someone says they’re “busy” the connotation is usually a negative one.
Don’t agree? How often do you hear someone exclaim how “busy” they are with a pep in their step and a smile on their face? Never. It doesn’t happen. Busy is usually followed by “I can’t” – “I don’t have time” – “I’m just too busy right now”. At one time or another, we’ve all used “busy” as an excuse. Valid or not. The negative association is strong and as such cultivates feelings of anxiousness and stress; a ball and chain type of mentality. It is indeed a state of mind.
How many of us spend a majority of the day thinking about how much we have to do and how little time we have to do it? I bet it’s more than most of us care to admit. From a mental standpoint, we’ve already set ourselves up to fail. Busy is a word that we need to retrain our brains to think about. On top of everything, some are busy just for the sake of busyness (we all know this person). Others feel like they’re living their life on a hamster wheel, in which case perhaps a step back for a moment of re-evaluation is necessary. You have the power to change your life if you’re truly unhappy with it.
Shortly after, I was discussing the subject with a friend. He agreed. Most of us have a lot on our plate, and I’m not taking that fact away from anyone, but the manner in which you approach that fact can really dictate how you live – and how much enjoyment you get out of – your life. How many of us go into a frenzy when we have a list of things that need to be done?
By most standards, yes, I am busy. You are busy. We’re all busy. But maybe it’s not about cramming more hours into the day – that’s impossible, by the way – or cutting corners – which, for me, isn’t and hasn’t ever been an option I can live with anyway.
If we really stop to think, a lot of us can probably come up with at least one way we can make our productive hours, well, more productive. I’m not saying you should always be in the “go gear”; I strongly believe in the importance of giving our bodies and minds a chance to recharge, ideally, on a daily basis… even if it’s just a couple of minutes at the end of a long day. We should, however, make sure that the times we are “on” are put to the best uses possible.
When faced with the dilemma of what to tackle next out of a list of options, I’ve started mentally rating them on a scale of one to five, with one being the most important and five the least. Sometimes laundry takes precedent, other times a book (or bed) does. It’s helped me prioritize and realize what’s the most important in that moment (point in case: sometimes it’s clean clothes, other times it’s a well rested mind). To be fair, that’s dumbing it down a bit but I’ve started using this strategy for almost everything and I’ve found that sometimes, the most trivial things are the ones I need the most help deciding between.
Don’t get me wrong, life is undeniably overwhelming but we all have a choice to make it more or less so. If you can re-wire your brain to think about your life and the responsibilities there-in differently, I really believe it will make a huge difference. You might find that you’re more productive and that you do indeed have some extra time to spend on things you feel you don’t currently have the time for or maybe you’re already at 100% efficiency and you don’t see any changes at all on that front (I think you will).
If nothing else, with time and persistence, a little conscious re-wiring will most certainly improve your mental and emotional well-being. The trickle down impact of which can not be overstated.