How to Stop the Glorification of Busy
We’ve all said it before. The conversation goes like this. “Hey beautiful, how have you been?!” “I’m good, I’ve just been sooooo BUSY.” Really? Ok but yawn. The word is over. It’s had its day. Thank you, next.
I’m guilty too. I work in slow fashion, I write about slow living, and yet, I run around my life like it’s a basketball court, never at a standstill. I’m a walking/running contradiction.
Being busy does not communicate your worth. Busy is not a code word for successful, or happy, or fulfilled, or important. Slow down, it won’t kill you. In fact, it will do the very opposite. Here are some tried and tested methods for slowing down.
Stop and smell the dahlias.
Ask yourself, “Can it wait?”
This goes for anything. But mostly, devices. Are you emailing during dinner? Are you swiping whilst your child is trying to show you their greatest artwork? Are you answering the phone in bed? (We all saw what happened to Ning on MAFS when she paused mid-third base to answer her phone; she’s been apologising ever since.)
Does every text or email warrant an immediate response? Worst of all, are you scrolling whilst driving? It has to stop. All of it. When you reach for the phone next, ask yourself, “Can it wait?” I think you’ll find, it can.
Stop posting your every move.
When you start feeling like you need to update the world on an hourly basis, it’s time to slow down. Chances are, you’re filling your schedule just so you can fill your feed. Nobody cares and nobody benefits.
When someone asks how you are, tell them how you are.
Let’s change our language. The next time someone asks you how you’ve been, try this on for size: “I’m so CALM.” And then, this strange new word just might manifest itself! 'Busy' is not an emotion. Be real with your friends.
Schedule in self-care.
Self-care is a term that's been dragged through the mud. But I stand by my case - it matters. After all, if you don’t have you, what do you have? A sick, tired, sore, unwell version of you.
To avoid getting there, make a list of your favourite things to do and stick it somewhere visible. My fridge is telling me to do yoga, garden, bathe, drink tea, walk on the beach, and paint. Ensure these are all things that soothe you, not stress you. I don't love sitting still (where are my fellow fidgets?) which is why I do hot yoga – it’s a moving meditation.
If doing nothing sends you into an ironic state of panic, try sitting in a park for an hour and enjoying the surroundings. Scientific evidence shows that when the human eye sees green, our brain is in its most relaxed state.
This is our archaic imprint at work – green is comforting because when nature is thriving around you, there is usually a source of food and water. Outside work and sleep hours, there are still 70 hours of valuable chill time per week, so you do have time to chill.
Say no, thank you.
Who filled your schedule? Who decided you need to take up gymnastics? Who decided you needed five separate coffee dates, in one day? Who decided you needed to work until 11 pm? Who decided you needed to go to a Beyoncé concert on a school night? (Actually, never say no to Beyoncé.)
Instead of executing something right now, make a quick note of it so you don’t forget. These to-dos can be done later in a more purposeful and efficient way, rather than right now as you hastily try to multitask. Write it down, so you can get some sleep or live in the moment.
Come Monday morning, you smugly tell your colleague that you did absolutely nothing over the weekend. You hear crickets. She nods cautiously at this new behaviour, and then something clicks. You have just glorified Peace and she wants a piece of that. Well done, you.
Join the revolution of care-driven companies by joining me on Instagram. I can't wait to see you and discover your magic.
Dahlia image by Ebb and Flow Flower Co, an eco-conscious and locally grown Sydney Florist founded by our dear friends, Dhani and Lisa.