Are you always 'crazy-busy'? Here's 4 ways to simplify your schedule to make room for the good stuff.
If your stock response to texts, calls and DMs is always late, and then goes on to include some kind of meek apology accompanied by the phrase ‘I'm just crazy-busy’, then this post is for you.
And man, is this something I need to work on too. We’re a work-in-progress together on this one honey! 💋
Before we start, lemme talk some real, hard-talk: forever delighting those closest to you with the broken record of how under pressure you are, how stressed you are, how busy you are et all, is exactly that = a broken freaking record. It isn’t making the most of your relationships and it’s basically telling your peeps, ‘I’m more stressed/busy/important than you’. Just think about that for a sec before you’re next thinking about wopping out the ‘busy’ card one more time. Everyone is busy. Do you wanna be the token broken record of your homies that just wrecks everyone's head? I certainly don't! In fact, it wrecks my own head hearing myself say how I busy I am the whole time. I literally bore myself. But there is a news flash to you and I: we control how busy we are.
But what's bizarre is that busy-ness is socially acceptable, almost like it’s a badge of honour (even though I personally think it’s a full-on addiction). I’m guessing your busy-ness is because of your own ambition or own anxiety. And self-inflicted too. The thought of the absence of busy-ness brings you out into a bit of a cold sweat. That certainly rings true for me. It’s almost like our lives can’t possibly be meaningless if we’re so busy, and sought-after, right? So I guess my place is to ask myself, and yourself, is fear a good headspace to operate from? Erm, nope.
So what are we actually saying when we're doling out our 'crazy-busy' card the whole time?
- I’m worthwhile and super-important (but in honesty, I need to feel needed and in-demand)
- It’s my go-to excuse (because I’m embarrassed that I'm so terrible at managing my time, and tbh, it gets used when I don't want to do something)
- I feel afraid (that if I'm not crazy-busy, maybe I don’t matter)
- I feel guilty (when I don't spend time on productive stuff, so I over-commit myself to make sure I don't ever have to feel that empty unproductive feeling).
Any of those sound familiar? Well don't be worrying if they do, because acknowledging that you might have a busy-ness addiction is the first step to getting the hell out of it! 😇 Plus, I've been doing my homework and I've a fab little array of tips and tricks to help us both out.
No. 1: Pay attention to the difficult, important stuff
What’s actually making you so busy honey? Are your days perhaps crammed full with all the little jobs, so you don’t have to think about any of the tough stuff? I think sometimes, always wrapping yourself up in day-to-day tasks and crazy-busy-ness, is a subconscious avoidance tactic. If you're drowning in work, maybe you're always crazy-busy because you don't want to feel accountable for being in the same sh*tty situation for three years running, so of course you drown yourself in your work to compensate and gloss over it. Or if you're doing okay with your working day, but your spare time is so rammed full of commitments, that it feels you don't even have time to get fresh bread and milk, maybe that's because you have an issue with not being 100% productive with your time. Ask yourself why you can't make use of some white space in your life.
Whatever your busy-ness vice, delve into it a little deeper and see if you are in fact running away from something that needs to be addressed and teased out. If you don't, nothing's going to change and you'll be in the exact same place, this time next week, next month, next year. That's the part that terrifies me.
No. 2: Change the way you talk about it
I also came across a super-clever but super-simple tactic suggested by Laura Venderkam. She proposes that you change the way you actually talk about your busy-ness.
Y'see by swapping out the phrase ‘I don’t have time’ with ‘it’s a not a priority’ is a real leveller when it comes to getting a clear picture of your use of time. For example; 'I don’t have time to do the ironing' vs. 'Doing the ironing is just not a priority for me'. That makes sense right? Ironing isn't a priority so it makes sense that you wouldn't make time for it. But 'I don’t have time to see my daughter today' vs. 'Spending time with my daughter is just not a priority for me'. Wow. That has some impact right? If it is a priority, make it one. It really is that simple. This technique can help you get crystal clear on your day-to-day choices, and should hopefully, quite cleverly, show you what changes you need to make in how you spend your time.
No. 3: Be okay with 'good' instead of 'perfect'
I’m guessing a huge part of your crazy-busy-ness is a pressure you've put on yourself to be all things to all people. And in fact, not just all things, but the very best of all things to all people. Now you know I've got some bossing around to do on this one!
Take a breather for a second and ask yourself, is it healthy to be the best business owner/employee, parent, partner, friend or otherwise? Would you ever encourage a dear friend to try and be perfect at everything to help them find happiness? Of course not. So why weigh yourself down with trying to be perfect at everything? Why not work on being 'good' instead of 'perfect'? It's way more enjoyable, achievable and way less time-consuming. I mention here how 70% is enough to earn yourself a first-class degree, so why not aim for say, 70% instead of 100?
Food for thought right there.
No. 4: Create some white space
This may feel like an impossible task knowing how busy your day-to-day life is, I know it sounds completely unrealistic for me sometimes, but honestly hun, try this. It's so effective. I've designed a free worksheet to help you shoehorn some white space into your coming week(s), no matter what your schedule's like.
But how do you know if you need some white space? Well firstly, if you're reading this far, it's pretty likely that you need some tbh (!), but separate to that, if you're experiencing any of these feelings, white space should most definitely be your next big task on the to-do list;
- Suffocating or drowning
- At breaking point
And even if your feelings aren't as extreme as these, adding some white space to your week is always going to have a positive impact.
If you missed the link earlier, this is where you can download your free worksheet 💋
In summary though, no matter how we package it up and justify our busy-ness to ourselves, we have control of our time. No-one else. If you feel someone else does, then it’s up to you to change that. Believe it or not, your time is yours.
If talking to one of your crazy-busy buddies is like listening to a broken record, and you'd love for them to not go so hard the whole time, be a good mate, keep it real and share this with them. I'm sure they'll thank you for it.