When I came to the U.S. in high school, I was first introduced to the word “errand.” Everybody was constantly “busy running errands” and I remember wondering what the heck they were doing all that time. I felt kind of unimportant that I wasn’t busy running errands myself lol ;)
Then I realized that it’s a thing to be busy and that being busy was and still is a common attempt to show the world that we are important, successful, and sought after.
However, underneath that proud and slightly frantic surface of busyness and self-importance, we often find ourselves feeling overwhelmed, guilty for not being able to keep up, dissatisfied with our life, and lacking balance, romance, and ease.
Busyness is a serious trap that is often preventing people from enjoying their life.
BUT, not all busy is created equal. There is a difference between “good busy” and “bad busy” and personally I have experienced both ends of the spectrum, so I know how differently they feel.
“Good busy” is when you have a rhythm and a flow to your day that allows you to be productive, inspired and energized. Even though your schedule is busy, you have a good sense for your priorities, still have balance and give yourself the time and space to unveil your true passions. You feel energetic enough to go after your dreams. People who are “good busy” are happier, more resilient, more productive, and more focused and can therefore create the success they desire.
“Bad busy,” on the other hand is when you feel like you are tumbling, rushing, pushing, not breathing, and fearful of making a mistake. You feel overworked, tired, non-productive, and negative, which leads you to worry excessively no matter if your schedule is packed or not. The problem is that your mind is over-saturated with should’s and ought-to’s that keep you running in the hamster wheel to you-don’t-even-know-where.
However, the line between "good busy" and "bad busy" is a thin one.
Check out the following 10 signs to know if you are too "bad busy." Underneath, I will also share 3 steps on what you can do to create greater life balance.
1. Your body feels tense more often than not. Are your shoulders tight? Does your back ache? Is your neck stiff? These are all signs of tension that is created by your mind and is manifesting itself physically.
2. You feel like no matter how hard you work, you are getting more and more behind. You are constantly feeling like you haven’t done enough, accomplished enough, demonstrated your own worth enough.
3. You have a hard time telling people “no” out of fear you might disappoint them. In other words, you sacrifice your own well-being for other people.
4. You have difficulty falling asleep or staying asleep. You remember things in the middle of the night and then your mind goes into a spin for all the things you still need to figure out.
5. You are gaining weight or cannot lose weight, especially in your mid-section. Dr. Michelle May explains that "Stress response, whether it is 'fight-or-flight,' juggling too many responsibilities, or coping with financial pressures, triggers a biochemical process where our bodies go into survival mode. Our bodies store fuel, slow down metabolism, and dump out chemicals [cortisol, leptin, and other hormones] which are more likely to cause ... obesity in the abdominal region."
6. You are distracted and have a difficulty focusing. In other words your mind is so full of all the things you need to do that you have a hard time concentrating on one thing only.
7. It only takes very little to push you over the edge. Do you find yourself being short, unfriendly and impatient even with people you love?
8. You are not breathing into your belly, don’t take time to eat your meals slowly and easily get digestive issues. Shortness of breath or constipation anyone?
9. When people ask you how you are, your immediate response is something like “I have been so busy.”
10. You are over-emotional and feel anxious a lot. Anxiety is often a result of uncertainty, a lack of control, and fear of the unknown. When we are in a constant state of busyness without knowing what all the fuzz is even for, anxiety can get the better part of us.
If this is you -caught up in “bad busy”- here is what to do about it:
1) Realize that it is in your hands ONLY to switch from bad busy to good busy.
Nobody is going to make your life less busy for you. It really is up to you.
2) Get clear on what you want in your life.
Unless YOU know what you want, it will be impossible for you to differentiate between what is important and what is not, what has priority and what can be scratched from your to-do list. Unless you know where you are heading, you will stay confused and a confused mind cannot work in a targeted and specific way leading to your desired outcome.
3) Get comfortable with boundaries and saying “no.”
I know, I know… easier said than done, but seriously nobody is superhuman and taking on more than you can realistically handle will keep you caught up in cycles of dissatisfaction even if, objectively, you are getting a ton done. Start with small boundaries like telling someone “I will think about it” or “Let me get back to you on that” or “It sounds great, but I cannot commit to this right now.” Only if you take care of yourself first, can you create the life you want.
Want to switch from “bad busy” to “good busy”? The Busy Girl’s 6-Week Plan To Balance & Fulfillment will take you through the steps you need. We are starting on Monday, June 16th. Join me and eleven other women in taking charge of our lives from the inside out. Get your spot here.
Are you coming?
The Busy Girl's 6-Week Plan To Balance & Fulfillment is starting on Monday, June 16th.
Sneak Peek Session 5: Manifestation, Playfulness, and how to use Food for Optimal Happiness
Lecture, Exercises, Bonus Materials, & an Expert Interview with Celebrity Coach and Founder of MentorMasterclass Jeannine Yoder on Creating the life you love one manifestation at a time.