“I am just too busy!” my friend said when I asked if he had signed up for the free meals voucher I’d sent him. My husband and I have been receiving weekly deliveries of ingredients for three meals which are delicious, and as our friend loves his food AND a bargain, I thought he would enjoy some free food. He then added “I’ll add this to the list of 83 other things on my ‘to do’ list.”
This “too busy” can become a bit of a habit and at its worst, an addiction. I used to even compete with my friend over how busy I was, as if we were scoring points. “I’ve been working until midnight” – not something to be proud of!
How many things are there on your “to do” list? 5 – 50 – 150? How does this list affect you?
Perhaps you look at your list of things to do and feel overwhelmed. You don’t know what to do first and waste time going through the list, trying to decide where to start. You know you are procrastinating and so berate yourself; that internal critic is having a field day! When eventually you get on with a task, at the same time you keep worrying about all the other tasks on your list, continually jumping from one thing to another. All those “to dos” are weighing down on your shoulders and your mind is whirling around and around like a tornado.
Do you recognise this? Exhausting eh?
Imagine that you still have that long list, however now you easily and effortlessly get through this; you innately know what to prioritise, what tasks to delegate and who to. You can get on, efficient with your time and are in a natural state of flow. You are amazed at how productive you are and feel calm and stress-free. You are not even using one of the many time management tools that are out there, such as the Eisenhower Matrix, analysing each task as important v urgent etc. (Personally these didn’t ever work for me – they just gave me even more things to do!)
It’s not the list.
It’s not time.
It’s our thinking.
Our busyness is often not due to the length of our lists (I have a friend who writes a list of the multiple lists she has), or juggling all that life throws at us. Our whole experience of life comes from our momentary thoughts, 100% of the time. A list of tasks cannot make us feel anxious! It’s our busy minds that get in the way and create those feelings. How many times are we going over and over stuff in our heads? In fact, by the time we actually get to the task it probably seems as if we’ve done it many times already. It’s this overthinking that is making us too busy to enjoy life.
Behind the scenes, we all have an amazing operating system. We can effortlessly do things without thinking each day: we get up in the morning, get washed and dressed, make a cup of tea, drive to work, the list goes on. These are all complex actions yet we complete them so easily.
Have you noticed times when you have a problem and then out of the blue the solution just pops into your head, even when you’re not actively thinking about the problem? Or have you had a light bulb moment – a great creative idea – whilst doing some menial task (like hanging out the washing, or even in the shower)?
Our operating system brings clarity constantly; it’s just that when we have busy minds, we often miss it.
We cannot stop our thinking. We have over 70,000 thoughts in a day – that’s a lot of thinking going on there. We are feeling, thinking human beings. We constantly think, just like we constantly breathe, until we die.
However, there is a lot of misunderstanding about thinking.
Thoughts are not real.
Thoughts are not tangible.
Thoughts are not us, they simply flow through us.
Thought is not reality; yet it is through thought that our realities are created.” Sydney Banks
When we understand the nature of thought, we can detach ourselves from our thinking. The swirling, racing overthinking that seems to grip our minds slows down, like a vice being released. We become more present and relaxed. We hear the quiet voice of insight and by trusting our intuition we are more creative and find solutions to problems we thought we had. When we don’t waste energy on being ‘in’ our too busy, overloaded minds, we have the capacity to use this additional energy and become more productive.
How often do you find that you are too busy to enjoy life? Forget about your to do list. It really doesn’t matter whether there are 5 – 50 – 150 things on it. By allowing our thoughts to flow through, rather than linger, it allows us the headspace to be calm and just gradually get things done. Now doesn’t that sound lovely?
Remember, you are never really too busy to enjoy life.
Want to learn more about what makes us tick? My new book Got It: The Answer to a Confident, Productive & Stress-Free Life is available from Amazon in paperback and on Kindle.
Lindsey Reed is an experienced International Coach, Trainer and Author. She enables people to have a joyful, fulfilled life and be their best selves. If you would like to work with Lindsey, contact her either by email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01832 280168 for a chat to see if she is the right coach for you. (121 coaching is either face to face / telephone / skype