The problem with "Too Busy"


How many times have I answered the question: “How are you?” with this simple phrase: “Good! Busy” And then launched into a conversation about all the things on my miles long to-do list. And how many times in my life have I felt like I was running on a hamster wheel -all the while thinking I am “Too Busy"?

It doesn’t feel good to be “Too Busy.” And yet, there are times when I feel powerless in the face of what my life is asking of me. I think there is no way under these circumstances for me NOT to be too busy.

But recently I’ve decided I just can’t allow myself to get too busy anymore. And the more I try to build in little breaks the more I realize how deep a practice it is to create enough boundary not to be so busy anymore. While it looks like an outside job - convincing everyone to chill out so that I can have some downtime - but I’ve learned that stepping out from being too busy is actually an inside job.

Here’s the thing, Too Busy is actually blowing yourself off. To allow yourself to become too busy is to ignore your own cries of fatigue. To forget your natural pacing and rhythm for getting things done. And to allow others lives to take precedence over your own. It is putting yourself last on your list if you are there at all.

In contrast Busy-full could be different. A life of busy-full days could actually be sustainable. Busy-full are days where there is a lot to do but there is also enough time to do it. Days when you’re moving from one task or event to the next but moving at your own natural pace are busy-full. Those kinds of days are nurturing. The way to tell if you are busy-full or too busy is this: a busy-full day full of nourishment leaves you feeling contented and blissfully fatigued - not ragged and worn to the bone as a too busy day does.

The problem with Too Busy is that eventually you become too busy for the simple but most important things.. looking another in the eye, seeing your Beloved clearly, saying the kind thing, offering gratitude. If you are blowing yourself off already it is a given that you will blow others off too. Too Busy becomes an excuse for not making connection. Too Busy is the perfect device and excuse for numbing out. It lets you avoid the messiness of relationships.

You are too important to blow yourself off anymore. When you refuse to sacrifice your own needs in service of others you start to stop Too Busy. When you learn your natural pacing and rhythm and then build your days around it to the best of your ability you slow Too Busy. It means you have to be realistic about how much can go on the To-Do list on a particular day. When you look another in the eye and take a fraction of a second to pause and connect even when life feels like a whirlwind, you are slowing down Too Busy.

On the other side of Too Busy are fullness, contentment, are restfulness. On the other side there is possibility of feeling more ease in life. And of feeling connected with your people again. In my opinion it’s worth it not to do as much so that I can FEEL so much more.