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There is no doubt in my mind that Busy-Ness has reached epidemic proportions. For most of us “I’m Busy” has become a badge of honour- undeniably stating to the world “I AM IN DEMAND, I AM VALUABLE”.
“Isn’t it obvious?” we think we are proving to ourselves and the world… “Everyone wants a piece of me, I don’t have time to scratch myself, I must be valuable right?”
But you don’t have to scratch far below the surface to see this is absolutely flawed thinking. Surely our value is independent of how much we DO. My One of Many Collaborator and Head of Coaching, Annie Stoker puts it this way: “Every life gets a value of 1. Otherwise how do you determine who has more value? The rich people have more value than poor? Healthy more than sick? Beautiful more than plain?” Of course not! We are all equally valuable. We just are.
Busy-ness does not make us more valuable than if we’re cool calm and collected. (Tweet this!)
But it does do one thing very well…
Our busy-ness is killing us.
Which is why we need to start un-picking some of the little lies we tell ourself that keep us busy. Because otherwise we’ll never get off the Busy Roundabout.
The truth of I’m Too Busy.
If you’ve heard yourself recently telling someone that you can’t because you’re too busy, you’ll know about this…
“Can you meet me for a coffee this weekend to plan Mum’s party?” Your sister asks, hopefully.
“I can’t, I’m too busy,” you reply with furrowed brow.
Let’s really analyze what’s going on here.
Actually it’s not a priority (eek!)
If someone you loved and were responsible for, your child for example, ended up in the emergency ward unexpectedly… you would never be too busy to go and be there. It becomes the highest priority.
So perhaps the correct answer when someone asks something of you is “It’s not a priority.” That’s actually the truth right?
OK- I get it… You don’t win friends going around saying “That’s not a priority.”
So perhaps a minor adjustment is in order.
How to get off the “I’m Too Busy” roundabout.
Avoid saying “I’m too busy” like the plague. It breeds itself, and we fall into the trap of getting and staying busy because at some level we think it makes us valuable.
Instead say “I’m sorry, I can’t.” Full Stop. Period. That’s All.
And on the inside say to yourself “That’s not a priority for me.”
What then ensues is an interesting conversation with yourself about whether you WANT coffee with your Sis to plan the party to be a priority or not. Which is far healthier for your fulfillment than a blanket “I’m Too Busy”.
So what do you think?
Am I quite mad or onto something?
For me this distinction has allowed me to ruthlessly spend my time on things that are important to me, and to identify when my priorities are getting out of whack.
I hope it does the same for you!