How to Slow Down In a World of Busyness

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“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” – Socrates

I sometimes look at the world through the eyes of my daughter because she, as most children, enjoy the simple things in life. With only nine years on this earth she always has the ability to unintentionally make me slow down, breathe and smile.

When it comes to “busyness” I have been on both sides of the conversation. I know what it feels like to get caught up in busyness, wearing that badge so proudly and looking at others with the “side eye” for not “doing” as much.  But, I also know what it’s like to have more freedom in my schedule and feeling maybe I’m not measuring up to the ”busy” person. I decided to let go of all those feelings and I’m appreciating the freedom and flexibility in my life, not feeling one ounce of guilt about it.

Somehow within the busyness we complain about not having any free time or not having time to take off, but not realizing just as much as we created our life of “busyness” we are able to create a life of freedom.  Freedom doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re not being productive, watching life pass by, but having more time to live in the present. Busyness has this sneaky little habit of taking you away from delighting in the simple things and embracing the moment.

In some way, with overscheduled lives, we’ve accepted the story that our value simply rests in what we can produce, that we are only loved for what we can accomplish.   We sleep less, we work more, and we accomplish a great deal.

But in the process we begin to forget how to be still,

and think,

and breathe,

and pray,

and have a real conversation with a friend, family member, or spouse.

Want to slow down?  Here are 3 ways to decrease the “busyness syndrome” and free up some time, to breathe and think:

Press Pause-Lily Tomlin once said, “There is more to life than increasing its speed." Take time to slow down and take a step back. There’s a good chance that you’re expending a great deal of energy on tasks that may feel urgent, but not necessarily important. Focus on what is needed to complete for the day.

 Examine yourself - What are You Running From?  Productivity appears to be the goal of “busyness”, but under the surface, it may keep us from reflecting on the deeper issues in our lives.   Is it helping you to avoid those thoughts and feelings, and even people, you dread? Is busyness preventing you from confronting an issue that’s begging to be addressed? It’s important to ask yourself these questions and discover exactly what your busyness is getting you, besides the belief that you’re getting more done. Be real and brutally honest with yourself as you explore your answer and intentions.

The Art of Saying “No” (Gracefully, of course) - For some, saying this word to others can make them feel extremely uncomfortable. Yet this little word is one of your strongest weapons against busyness. To cure the “disease to please”, treat it seriously and assert yourself. Create a list of all the things on your plate right now and identify those things you want to say no to. Connect with a trusted friend or someone you know who doesn’t have a problem with asserting themselves that can coach and empower you to say that powerful word of….. “No”.

5 Minute Coaching Corner

  • In which areas of your life do you most often feel the need to go faster and faster to keep up? What is making you feel this way?
  • What areas of your life is impacted the most by busyness? Is it spiritually, your love life, family?
  • Identify one way you can become more in tune with this specific area and decide when you will put it into practice.

P.S. Did this post resonate with you? Do you have a question or topic that you’d like to see me address in the future? Email me at RaphaelaBrowne@assuredgrace.com to share your feedback.

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Until then…..Greatness Awaits!

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Posted on March 2, 2015 and filed under Authentic Living.