The REAL reason we’re addicted to being “busy”

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I talk a lot about time and energy management. I’m passionate about supporting people in getting their time and energy back because I don’t want anyone to be forced to slow down, or worse–shut down completely. I want people to actively CHOOSE a better way because I know what happens when it’s forced on you and it’s brutal. 

Years ago I was told I had a chronic, life-threatening illness that would cause me pain for the rest of my life AND take years of my life away from me. My personal world was in shambles, I was in an enormous amount of emotional and physical pain, and I was trying to parent 5 children. I DID NOT HAVE TIME FOR THIS.

My body disagreed, and this diagnosis was the final straw that forced me to stop moving (literally and figuratively) and get radically honest with myself. It was time to get real and stop avoiding the painful truths I’d been avoiding for my entire life.

I used to pride myself on pushing through the hard stuff, never slowing down, always being busy. It’s a badge of honor in this culture, being busy and overwhelmed. It’s as if we’re measuring the value of our lives by the degree to which we’ve overcommitted ourselves.

So if being busy and overwhelmed is so miserable, why are so many of us committed to it? And why does our culture reward it?

The better question is this: What are we all AVOIDING? 

Chronic busyness is an excellent way to avoid what we don’t want to see, what we’re afraid to deal with. 

Slowing down and creating more time and space means there’s room for the hard stuff to come up. It means we have the time and energy to look at our careers, our marriages, and every other part of our lives and ask the question, do they measure up? Are we living lives full of meaning, or full of appointments? 

To be clear, I don’t have it all together and I certainly don’t have all the answers. I also completely understand that some of us have more obligations and commitments than others.

What I’m talking about is filling our lives up with appointments, meetings, classes, and (insert extra thing here) without asking ourselves if the time and energy cost is worth it. 

My commitment to myself is to continue to slow down, to let go of the kind of busyness that’s about avoiding, and to ask myself the hard questions. This is how I saved my own life so many years ago, and it informs how I coach my clients every single day.

If you need support in getting your time and energy back and creating the life you truly want to live, we’re here for you.