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Why being busy?

Are you busy?

Lately I have noticed that at social events one of the main questions is: “Are you busy?” Or even worse people assume you are busy by saying: “Tell me how are you? Busy, right?” Or in Dutch: “Alles goed? Druk zeker?” But what do we actually mean with “being busy”? That’s a question I kept asking myself. Do we mean that we have a great deal to do or that we just keep ourselves occupied with “important stuff”?

For me the term “busy” is quite negative. I link it to things that deplete you. To things that you – for some reason – need to do (not want to do). If you are too busy to do your yoga practice, enjoy life and do things you love to do than it means that it has a negative association, right? It means that the things that you are so busy with take away your energy which holds you from doing the things you actually want to do.

Are you to busy to do the things you love in life?

Besides, I have also noticed that the term is used to refer to the fact that you are important. If you say that you do nothing at the moment then people often look back as if you are wasting your time. When practicing law at the financial district in Amsterdam I also noticed that the term is used to give you a certain status. Because if you are not busy then you are not important for the Company. Okay, so we use this term to give ourselves an identity, to open a conversation and to say what exactly?

That last question I could not answer so I started to ask people the question in return. When I asked them how they were doing and they responded with: “Good, good but so busy you know!” Or in Dutch: “Goed hoor – druk!” I re-questioned and asked “What are you so busy with?” Of course this is not the ordinary answer so at first I got a strange look saying “What do you mean? I said I am busy. Full stop.” Then people start to think – yes first mission accomplished – there is awareness now. The most common answer is: “Yeah, you know with work. So much I have to do.” Aha my second thought is then also true we associate the term “busy” with work, status and something that drains us. So really guys, why should we keep on “being busy”?

Health is the most important thing in my life

I asked myself this question several times and then just decided to not be busy anymore. Never. Just don’t say it, don’t be it. Instead I started to prioritize things that are more important in life than being busy. For me this is health in the first place, because without health all the other things I would love to do with my precious time is not possible. So health first. Is being “busy” good for my health? No, it’s not. It gives me restless nights, stress, exhausts me and in the end causes disease. Step one towards my first priority is therefore: stop being busy. Easy, right? But how do you do it? That’s the more harder part.

Here are some things I started to do:

  • Stop saying: “I am busy”. What you think and say will manifest.

  • Start breathing consciously: we breathe the whole day, but only when we do it with attention we start to calm down and feel connected. It gets you out of your monkey mind into your body instantly. So first start breathing with awareness 5 breaths in and out and BOOM you are there to make the best decisions.

  • Stop rushing. Give yourself more time to go from A to B. If you are for some reason still running late for an appointment. Call the person that you are 5 minutes later and still take your time.

  • Prioritize things. What are things that are really important for you? Make a list and make sure you give yourself all the space you need to do at least the top 3. Being too busy is no excuse. Regret later will harm you more.

  • Give yourself permission “to do-nothing” every day for at least 10 minutes. Simply lay on the couch after work or sit on a bench in the sun in the park. No phone, no television, no music – just nothing. Relax and say to yourself “there is nothing to do, nowhere to be.”

  • Do not overly pack your agenda. Keep space for yourself. Allowing some “me-time” to do either things you love to do or to do nothing at all.

  • Get abundance restful sleep. Especially when you think you need to finish something before you can go to bed. Stop doing it and give yourself rest. You will wake up more energized and finish the things you wanted to do in less time the day after.

  • Make sure you allow yourself to exercise regularly. It does not have to be extreme. 30 minutes yoga practice, running or swimming 3 to 4 times a week will already support you to stay in your seat and not go with your monkey mind into the “being-busy-mode”.

This are the things that helped me. Not saying that you have to bring all those things in practice, but maybe start with one or two that suit you and see how it will change your life. Because in the end it doesn’t matter what I say or recommend. What matters is how you will feel about it. What works for you to get the most out of your life. The only thing I can tell you that for me it was definitely not being busy.

With love,
Kim