Can’t Make It—Too Busy

May 24, 2019

The early bird gets the worm. Make hay while the sun shines. Idle hands are the devil’s workshop. If you want something done, give it to a busy person.  The Puritan work ethic that was instilled in the founding of our country has certainly not diminished over the 200-plus years since the U.S. was founded. But it’s morphed into something super-charged in recent decades, and this change has made us less-healthy. Busyness, and the addiction to it, drive us to do more, and push us to focus less on who we are.


Hiding in Busyness

Chaunie Brusie, B.S.N. wrote about her addiction to being busy after her drive to “do” landed her in a therapist chair “sobbing and dripping snot” as she so eloquently puts it.  Brusie was using her busyness to keep from examining her anxieties and depression, and the root causes of those emotions in her life.

In addition to using busyness to avoid issues, Michelle Braden, business coach and author explains “Most people tie their self-worth to what they accomplish. When people ask us how things are going, our first instinct is to say that we are busy. If you are not busy, it may seem that you are not doing anything interesting. We believe that when we appear busy we are successful and important.”

Solutions for Busyness

Paying attention to your schedule and how it makes you feel is the first step to noticing if you have over-scheduled your time.  As you begin to examine your motives behind how you spend your time, consider involving a close friend or family member to help get a different perspective.  Brusie also offers these suggestions: 

  • Admit that we are addicted to the disease of busyness. Admitting it is the first step!
  • Take time to examine the “why” behind our busyness. Are we using success or work or outward successes as a way to measure our own self-worth? Are we trying to avoid a problem in our personal lives? What are we replacing through our busy schedules?
  • Analyze our schedules. What do we absolutely have to continue doing and what could we cut down on?
  • Seek help. Talk to a therapist – there are so many avenues to get professional help, from online sessions to even texting. Many insurance plans also cover therapy, so it’s worth exploring how closely your mental health is affecting your physical health.
  • Slow down. Even if you have to set a timer on your phone, take time to check yourself throughout the day. Pay attention to your body: Are you tense? Breathing? How do you feel in this very moment? Taking time to know ourselves and to be honest about the choices we make is an important step in self-care.  Making sure we have time for ourselves is a great way to ensure that we can then be present for others. Have questions, call 703-371-1104.