Shannon Conaglen from Chaos & Confidence shares with us tips to unlearn being busy!
Whenever I ask someone how they are doing, I usually get this response…
"I'm good, but SO busy!"
It seems to have become a go-to or default response, especially for women.
More than a default response, it also seems to be an expectation.
It almost feels wrong to admit you spent a few hours or even a day watching Netflix (GASP!). Or that you slept in on the weekend, instead of rising with the birds to get a head start on everything you haven't got to during the week.
Don’t forget the follow up response which is, "of course I did some work on the weekend... I'm just so busy!"
If this sounds like you, you have probably taken on the "busy" mindset.
What is the busy mindset and how can you change it to get some well-earned down time? Read on to find out.
What Is A Busy Mindset?
People who are productive, effective and get all the things done are busy all the time, right?
It is actually the opposite. People who take some time to recharge are usually much more productive and effective than those that push, push, push all the time.
A busy mindset is feeling that you need to fill every minute of every day with productive tasks. Whether you are running a business, working a full-time job or managing a household, there is always something to do. A busy mindset makes you feel as if you should ALWAYS be ticking something off a To-Do List.
Unfortunately, the need to be constantly busy can have some quite negative effects on us. It can cause anything from low motivation and mood swings to heart palpitations and insomnia.
So, it's important to change your mindset and thinking around this and become calmer and less chaotic.
5 Quick Wins For Being Less Busy
While it is going to take more than some quick wins to fully overcome your busy mindset, here are some quick wins you can get on the board to gain some momentum.
- Start saying "No" to the things that aren't going to serve you or make you happy.
- Schedule time in your week to just do nothing. It doesn’t have to be a huge chunk of time. Even just taking 30 minutes to grab a drink or snack and have the time to enjoy it.
- Take one thing off your To-Do List every day. There will be a non-urgent task you can drop or something you can delegate out to someone else to free up some time and headspace.
- Get the family involved. Kids of all ages can help out with jobs (and partners too, of course), so assign tasks to each family member in the house to spread the load.
- Write things down. It can feel extra busy when we are trying to keep track of everything in our heads. The simple act of writing those jobs down means you don’t have to stress about committing everything to memory. Seeing the list can also help you recognise if you have planned more than you could ever possibly get done.
Tips For Changing Your Mindset Around Being Busy
The key to changing that sense of constantly feeling busy, is modifying your mindset. This is not something that you can do overnight. But, if you consistently work at it, then you will be on your way to a transformation.
Here are some of the things you can do to start modifying your busy mindset.
Change the words you use.
A simple switch of the words you use to describe your day can make all the difference. Instead of saying "my day is really busy", try "I have a full day ahead" instead.
Flip the negativity.
It can be easy to feel challenged and under pressure from everything that you have to get done. But, it is helpful to remember that we are blessed in many ways. “So much on at work or in your business” means you are employed and earning, “having to ferry the kids around” means you are blessed with a family, and “being stuck with the household chores” means you are blessed to have a place to call home.
Rather than thinking about all the things “I have to do”, be grateful for the things you “get to do”.
Don’t join the busy bandwagon.
It is tempting to get into a “I’m busier than you” conversation trap. If someone is talking about how busy they are, then don’t take that as a cue to share your own busy story. Rather, respond with empathy and simply listen.
Over time, you will feel the impulse to bond over shared “busy” experiences reduce. Instead, you will be able to share positive conversation moments.
Don’t talk work outside work.
Too often, the conversation at dinner parties with friends, family or people you don’t know can turn to work. Before you know it, you are in the midst of a “networking” event you never signed up for! Talking about work keeps it on your mind and gives you no release or downtime.
Instead, draw the conversation towards weekend plans, past or upcoming holidays, your favourite places to visit, movies you have seen, books you have read, meals you have enjoyed… basically anything non-work related!
Celebrate free weekends.
It can be tempting to fill up all the gaps in your diary, including those precious weekend days. If you find yourself with a free weekend, then preserve it. Don’t cram an activity in there. Let what will happen, happen!
A bit of spontaneity can be a beautiful thing. Stop thinking about all the things that need to be done and do what you want to do on the day… or do nothing at all.
Have a movie day to yourself, or with your family. Play some board games or do a crossword. Go for a walk or explore somewhere new. Blast some music and sing at the top of your lungs, or just sit on the deck with a cuppa and be you.
This is probably one of the most important aspects for a non-busy mindset, but one we can so easily neglect. When was the last time you had pure fun? Probably longer ago than you would want to admit!
So, plan to have some fun.
What do you enjoy? Is it reading, hiking, mountain biking, dining out, baking, watching the sunrise, dancing, catching up with friends? Whatever it is, just do it!
Is busy currently dominating your life? Have you forgotten what a quiet weekend looks like but want to have the time in your life to find out, without the guilt?
Then, it is time to remove some of the chaos. That is exactly what I help people do! Jump on a call with me and together we can wade through your busy to reduce the stress and gain some calm. Choose a convenient time to chat here.
This piece was written by Shannon Conaglen from Chaos & Confidence. She helps busy women have the confidence to calm the chaos and live life they want they want to. You can check out what she does right here at Chaos & Confidence.