Perhaps you’re familiar with this scenario: after a long week at work, the weekend finally arrives. It’s time for you to unwind, relax, and do nothing. However, before 10 am the next day, you’ve already planned a couple social appointments, ordered a new piece of furniture, and set in motion other plans that will keep you active for the rest of the weekend.
Projects, along with people and passion, can keep us on the move. But there’s a big difference between being busy – and being productive. Productivity, for example, makes you feel like you do not want to stop. Busyness, on the other hand, makes you feel like you cannot stop.
In both our business and personal lives, there are tools out there that can help us be more productive, or just add to the piles of busywork we have in front of us. Companies and individuals that have overcome these challenges have done so by being strategic about how they utilize new technology and communication tools.
Why do we keep ourselves excessively busy?
Well, there are FIVE big reasons we get out of it. So if you’d rather strive for productivity over busyness while cutting stress out of your work days, consider these five reasons:
Why You Might Be Addicted To Being Busy
1) You’re Afraid To Say No
When relatively unimportant tasks are taking too much time out of your day, don’t be afraid to say no. Many people think saying no to a requested task will make them seem like they aren’t a team player.
But being able to manage your time wisely and saying no to projects you can’t fulfill is always a smart choice. Think about it: would you rather complete two top-quality projects this week, OR rush through multiple different ones dedicating only 40 percent to each one?
If for some reason you’re worried your boss will come down hard on you, try to explain how much time you’ll need. This is so he/she can understand the points you’re drawing from. Or at the very least, bring in additional help.
2) Being Busy Fulfills The Guilt
Feeling guilty when we actually do take a break is common. This is especially true during crucial periods. Even notable entrepreneurs like Elon Musk, once said that he is afraid of taking vacations.
It is during these pivotal moments in your business where you actually need to pace yourself in order to avoid being burned out. You can help minimize your guilt by having a structure in place that allows you to focus on yourself from time-to-time.
3) You’re Always Comparing Yourself To Others
You are constantly comparing yourself to other people as if your value depended on it. You become secretly jealous of your friends because they’re doing “better” than you. You feel accountable whenever you allow yourself the experience of great pleasure when your friends aren’t as “successful” as you.
To make matters worse, you soon begin to hide information from others. You start to feel like life is one big competition. You feel threatened when there is no need to feel so. Your ego is so powerful that you are ready to risk everything in order to win.
This shouldn’t be a problem right?
Well, think again. This way of thinking causes routine stress, which comes with the pressure from day-to-day life situations, such as work and family obligations. It also causes you to feel superior to others – when you’re really just being busy.
4) Fulfills The Silence
For some, being still can scare us. It makes us feel bored to the point where we start thinking about the things we’ve been putting off. Some individuals will even force themselves to stay busy in order to fill the silence, escape reality, or avoid actual problems.
The reality is, however, when we have so much to do, we can’t focus on our well-being. Which means issues in our lives can only be ignored until they seep into places where they shouldn’t be. You can only run from your problems for so long.
Don’t wait until you’re on the verge of breaking down to address something that’s hurting you. Stop being busy all the time and face the silence.
5) To Run From The Past
Continuing with our theme of silence and avoidance, the past is typically another thing people like to avoid at all cost. There are even entire speeches that teach individuals how to evade their past. We can choose to keep running, hoping our dark demons will fade. Or we can stand up to them.
Running from the past may be acceptable when you’re young and trying to find your way as an adult. People under the age 30 for instance, often do not have the character or life experience to deal with their painful past. This is why they’re rarely encouraged to dive in. Instead, they’re told to move on and build a new history. Sometimes, by being busy.
Now, when you’re closer to mid-life on the other hand, most people have the capacity and knowledge to cope with their past. Doing so frees them emotionally, and allows them to embrace themselves. After all, your past can influence the individual you’ll become in the future.
The Good News!
You can overcome your past experiences with the right tools, and proper healing process. Even the worst case of trauma can be laid to rest.
Thanks for the read. Did I miss anything? What are some other reasons people might be addicted to being busy? Feel free to share your thoughts.