6 Tips to Break Your Addiction to Busy
These days, when you run into a friend on the street and ask them how they are, the answer is rarely “good.” The answer is more often “busy.” We live in a society addicted to busyness. Some of it may be real, but a lot of it is self-created. With so much external stimulus, we have become prone to creating hectic lifestyles to avoid any kind of real thought or contemplation. We have a fear of what “non-busy” even looks like. What? To be left with our own thoughts? This has become many people’s worst nightmare.
Unfortunately however, our addiction to busyness has come at a huge cost – our health! The most obvious and significant consequence of our constant busyness is stress. Stress not only has serious implications for our mental health, but also can dangerously affect our physical health; upsetting our immune system, digestive system and cardiovascular system. But perhaps just as bad as the consequence of stress is the regret of a life less lived. I work day in and day out with “busy” professionals and i see first-hand that we have become so busy making a living, that we have forgotten to make a life. The ability to set priorities, set boundaries and say “no” is crucial to overcoming our addiction to busy, improving our health and creating a life that we are truly proud of. Here are some of the ways I help my clients achieve these things:
Know Your Values
Values are a grossly underestimated tool in decision making and prioritization. Often when we make life decisions, we write out long lists of pros and cons. When we prioritize, we consider factors such as urgency and importance. But how often do we take a step back and ask ourselves how these life decisions and priorities actually align with who we are and what is important to us. From my experience coaching individuals, it rarely plays a part, however this disconnect between how we live and what we value is one of the deepest sources of anxiety and inner turmoil. Once we take the time and invest in the energy into really defining our core values, and then sorting them in order of importance, we unlock an opportunity for more clarity and less anxiety. For example, if “family” is your top value, and a weekend work call conflict with your daughter’s graduation, the decision becomes far easier. There is no longer anxiety about which to accept and which to turn-down because it is clear which of these engagements better aligns to your core values. When we live in alliance with our values, it is amazing how much lighter we feel. So next time you need to make an important decision, try ditching the pros and cons list and instead draw a hierarchy of your core values. Explore them, define them and then use them as your compass.