Human Capital Management, Leadership, Total Well-Being

The Glorification of Busy

/ March 10, 2021 March 10, 2021

“Busy” has become the new “Fine.” As in, when you ask somebody how they are doing, they used to answer, “Fine.” But nowadays, most people answer, “Busy.”

Is the state of busy really improving our lives and leading to more productivity? Statistics indicate that 75% of parents are too busy to read to their children at night. Americans are having a hard time finding opportunity for taking time away from work, especially given the uncertainty of COVID-19. 33% of Americans are living with extreme stress daily, and nearly 50% of Americans say they regularly lie awake at night because of stress.

It doesn’t have to be this way. Busy is not inevitable.

Here are some tips for becoming unbusy:

1. Realize that being busy is a choice. It is a decision we make. We are never forced into a lifestyle of busyness. The first and most important step to becoming less busy is to simply realize that our schedules are determined by us. We do have a choice in the matter. We don’t have to live busy lives.

2. Stop the glorification of busy. Busy, in and of itself, is not a badge of honor. In fact, directed at the wrong pursuits, it is actually a limiting factor to our full potential. It is okay to not be busy. Repeat this: It is okay to not be busy.

3. Appreciate and schedule rest. One of the reasons many of us keep busy schedules is we fail to recognize the value of rest. Especially as many families are still spending the majority of their time at home together, taking breaks may seem impossible. But rest is beneficial to our bodies, our minds, and our souls. Set aside one day per week for rest or meaningful time with loved ones. Intentionally schedule it on your calendar. Then, guard it at all costs.

4. Revisit your priorities. Become more intentional with your priorities and get support with how to effectively manage tasks. Busyness is, at its core, about misplaced priorities.

5. Own fewer possessions. The things we own take up far more time and mental energy than we realize. They need to be cleaned, organized, and maintained. And the more we own, the more time is required. Try going through your things every few months, or at least once in 2021. Own less stuff and find more time because of it.

6. Cultivate space in your daily routine. Take time for lunch. Find space in your morning to sit quietly before starting your day. Invest in solitude, meditation, or yoga. Find opportunity for breaks at work in between projects. Taking moments for yourself is important and can greatly benefit your mental health.

7. Find freedom in the word, “no.” Recognize the inherent value in the word “no.” Learning to say “no” to less important commitments opens your life to pursue the most important ones.

Staying busy may seem like the right thing to do but it often can lead to burnout and an increase in mental health concerns. If your organization is struggling maintaining work-life balance and needs additional support, fill out the form below to connect with our Wellness experts: