Busy, busy, busy.

May 21, 2013



hearttnh

I think this is the era of being "busy."  Everyone is over-scheduled and overwrought.  No one has time for anything.  Just this morning, my 6 year old asked for a planner to organize her appointments (dentist?) and activities.

"Busy" has become a new status symbol and I think people even compete amongst their grown friends for who is the busiest.  I have seen and heard it.  I might have even done it myself.

Yes, I am guilty too.  I try not to use the b-word too often because our words DO shape our reality.  But I cannot help it.  Sometimes, I just feel so.... busy.

Often I have clients or friends who come to me because their lives are too chaotic or they are too busy.  They feel scattered and unfulfilled. They feel like they are racing from one activity to the next. I think a lot of us feel this way a lot of the time.  And here is the problem... I think for many of us, our time is not aligned with our values.

We commit to things because we think we should be doing them.  A good Mom goes on the school field trips, right?  A good baseball player plays on the traveling team, right?  All kids need to learn a musical instrument, right?  WRONG!

Let me confess...I don't go on many school field trips. I used to go on them because I thought that was the "right thing to do" as a stay at home Mom.  I did it because I thought it was expected of me.  I felt like it would look bad if I chose not to go.  After all, I had no excuse. I was not working full time.

But the truth is, I despised the field trips. I am not saying there is anything wrong with them.  When you go on a field trip, you can get to know your kids friends and be a part of the school community. They need chaperones on school trips. Some parents even enjoy the field trips (I do not).  I get a little claustrophobic with 300+ kids at the science museum and I am always afraid I will lose a child.  I get carsick too.  Field trips and I do not really agree.

However, knowing my kids' friends and being involved in the school community IS important to me so I find other ways to do it.  And my way does not involve a whole day either.  I volunteer for class parties where I cannot lose anyone.  I bring my daughter lunch and sit with her friends in the cafeteria.  Both of those things take about an hour every once in a while.  I get to know her friends.  I spend time helping in the school but I am less busy because it takes less time too.  It is much more manageable for me.

For my middle school son, I work one shift a week in the school bookstore with him.  That fulfills my value system.  I have time doing something with my son.  We are serving his school community.  I get to know his friends and teachers.  He will remember that time with me every Wednesday morning more than if I served on a committee.

When clients come to me confiding that they are too busy, I have them keep a loose diary or journal recording of how they spend their time for a few days in a row.  Then I give them some worksheets that have them contemplate their values (home, family, relationships, school, spirit, service, community, work, physical exercise, sports, social, financial, entertainment, etc).  Finally, I have them look at their days and examine whether the way they are spending their time is aligned with the values they have in life.  And most of the time, it is not.  Most people are doing things that fulfill other people's values or expectations of them.

I hear people saying that they value their marriage above all else but they cannot recall the last time they spent time alone with their spouse.  Similarly, I have heard women tell me how important their friendships are to them yet they never call or go out with their friends.  And one that makes me really sad...people who tell me their kids are everything to them but they spend less that 30 minutes a day engaging them.  Seriously, think about how much time you spend relating to the people you love and value the most.  Many people spend more time on facebook or instagram or watching TV than with their loved ones.  And I have done that too.

So, the point here is not whether you are PTO president or CEO of the company. The point is not what you are doing that is keeping you so busy.  Everyone has their own way of making a difference in the world. I am not placing judgement on what you spend your time doing. I just want you to think about if what you are so busy doing is consistent with what you value the most.  If not, it might be time for a change.




18 comments:

  1. great perspective...definitely worth thinking about our values and how we are spending our time

    ReplyDelete
  2. great perspective..worth the time to align personal values to our allocation of our time and resources

    ReplyDelete
  3. I love this! It is so important for me to evaluate where my time goes and how my values are woven into that, I don't reflect on it enough. Thank you for sparking a new idea for me to check-in with myself with my RescueTime summary every Sunday to see if my values match up!

    ReplyDelete
  4. I love this! It is so important for me to evaluate where my time goes and how my values are woven into that, I don't reflect on it enough. Thank you for sparking a new idea for me to check-in with myself with my RescueTime summary every Sunday to see if my values match up!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Great post Kim! You are making me feel better for NOT volunteering for the zoo field trip next week or the one they had 3 weeks ago!

    Time to figure out the priorities before summer officially kicks in!
    Blessings, Di

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi first off congrats on this wonderful new blog/venture!! What a great post..I read every single word shaking my head. And laughing...you could have been describing me on the field trips...I always drove my own car behind the bus because of my claustrophobia and it didnt' stop there....like you said being anywhere with hordes of people put me out of my comfort zone...so did not enjoy myself but of course loved being with my kids and being a part of their world for the afternoon.
    Totally agree..saying how busy one is has become a status symbol..weird as that is. Me included, but honestly and ironically blogging has allowed me to slow it down and I am home more than I ever have been, yes I am busy but in a different way. I do think we ALL need to stop take few minutes to reflect and if we are not fulfilled, then figure out what we can do to change things...it usually involves freeing ourselves up and making time for things we ENJOY instead of doing all the things we feel OBLIGED to do.Excellent topic!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Just popping in to say Way. to. Go! So glad this has come to fruition! Will come back when I have more time to read all the posts, but wanted to show my support now and let you know I was thinking of you!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I'm so happy you've started your website! I'll be following and sharing it! I look forward to reading all of the posts tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I love this post it's exactly what I needed right now! Also I love the new site!!!

    ReplyDelete
  10. I love this post it's exactly what I needed right now in my life I feel like a hamster on a wheel and just and can't keep up!! Also, love the new site!!

    ReplyDelete
  11. Perfect post! Really puts it all in perspective for me! (I also don't enjoy the field trips that much!)

    ReplyDelete
  12. I LOVE this and "business" is something I am really working on. xo

    ReplyDelete
  13. Great post....no matter what your age, it is important to reflect on how you are using your time...

    ReplyDelete
  14. Kim,

    I just read every post and I so appreciate your wisdom. You are right on point. Thank you for sharing your heart, your life, your insights!

    ReplyDelete
  15. Kim,

    Hi. I just read every post and so appreciate your wisdom. You are right on point. Thank you for sharing your life, your heart, your insights!

    ReplyDelete
  16. your absolutely right! Sometimes I'm so busy "doing" and I miss out on "being"...

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for your comments. Please be respectful.

Pin It button on image hover