In the last month I have bumped into five different people while running errands whom I haven’t seen in a long time. Each time they asked, “Ya stayin’ busy?”
And each time I responded with, “no.”
It stops the normal flow of conversation, so I will clarify,
“I am no longer interested in living a busy life. I want my life to be filled with the things I choose. And right now that looks like growing my business 25-30 hours a week, spending lots of time on my self-care and with my family.”
When I operate with a belief system that “I am busy,” then I am more likely to decline the invitations that matter most. I am more likely to skip a workout, decline an invite to have lunch with a friend, or think it’s necessary to stay up late.
Here’s the funny thing, if I want to feel busy, the invitation is sitting right there for me to reach out and grab the hustle.
Currently, I am a mom of two small kids with a husband who travels a ton for work. I am running a growing business where I am the sole employee, and I am heavily involved in five non-profits. Not counting my daughter being on the dance team and recently joining Girl Scouts. It would not be hard to return to my busy mindset.
I started accepting the busy mindset in the eighth grade. That’s when I first got addicted to the rush of being in tons of activities, over achieving academically and being at church every time the doors were open. The adrenaline hit from always running from one thing to the next became my life for the next twenty years.
Now that I am solely in control of my time and calendar, I am changing my mind.
We all have the power to change our minds.
I choose rest over staying up to reply to emails. I just don’t respond. I have literally thousands of unread emails. The most important ones get my attention during the small windows each day I am at a computer.
I choose time with my kids over an extra two hours a day of work. The work just rolls over to the next week.
I choose my morning workout over an extra hour of availability for appointments. They either happen 10:00-3:00 or they don’t happen.
My calendar is full. But it is mostly filled with my self-care and my family.
Sure, my business could possibly grow faster if I worked more hours. But many studies say the opposite. A study from Stanford University found that productivity decreased when employees worked too many hours. Some of the fastest growing companies (an example linked here) in America have moved to 30 hour work weeks. The more and more we learn about the benefits of a healthy work-life balance and proper self-care, it seems that a 6 hour work day is the most efficient. I am choosing to work a 4-5 hour work day because of the age of my children.
But it’s all a choice. If I CHOOSE to block my rest, family and self-care first and make everything else fit around it, then the most important things will get done.
Busy is a drug that a lot of people are addicted to, and I am no longer participating.
Sophia Hyde is a certified life coach. Visit her coaching page to get access to her free mini-course “5-Minute Mental Reset.”