Being Too Busy

“When we are too busy, the tasks are in charge of us and not us them.”

Three questions:
How do we move from being busy to being active?

Why do we like to be so busy?
How can we create more ‘space’ and more achievement in our lives?

How do we get to be ‘too busy’?
a) We see others being busy and equate this with success and achievement.
b) The Being Someone Else (BSE) syndrome; I make decisions based on what others are doing.
c) The ego kicks in; we want to be seen to be busy as this means my life is a success.

Business versus being active
A recent article in the Harvard Business Review reported the results of a survey of managers. This survey found that 90% of managers, despite being very busy, were ineffective. The 10% that were effective were the ones that were more focused and purposeful about what they were doing.

How much of what I am doing is worthwhile? Is fulfilling? Is purposeful? When we have a personal focus to our doing we move from being busy to being active. An added benefit of this is that having this focus keeps our energy levels up and on an even keel throughout the day. This works particularly well if we re-established at the beginning of the day what our personal purpose is; now I am clearer of how to steer my way through the day and less likely to find myself just drifting.

The best tool for this is meditation; step inside, be still and experience just being you – be the observer, the witness, that exists behind this physical exterior. Then step back into the ‘physical’ and out into the day.

Speed versus depth
Today speed matters. More haste. More speed. We have developed the illusion that life should operate at this pace. We have become addicted to speed. We are impatient. We have to get there/get it done as fast as possible. Rush, there is little leeway to do peacefully. When we operate in this way our hearts shut down; our actions become mechanical and our life loses its essence-fullness.

In your mind take away all the technology… underneath life continues at its own rhythm, just as it always has. Be the observer and let there be ‘space’ between ‘who I am’ and ‘what I am doing’. As the observer I can direct my doing rather than just being pulled into this and that. If I stop doing, I still am.

– Almost everything can wait 24 hours! This is a deception of business; that nothing can wait. In this is a further deception; that I can control the result of situations. Give time, usually if left to be things sort themselves. Allow others, when we tell others what to do we inhibit them from finding out for themselves.

Sometimes though, we do need to take instant decisions and action. In order to be able to see what is needed and act accurately we need to cultivate clarity of mind i.e. have an uncluttered focus.

Enjoying being busy?
Have you ever considered that business is a form of laziness? Of procrastination? Instead of focusing on and doing what is really needed, I am busy doing this and that and there just isn’t enough time. It may even be that I am busy doing good things. However, am I really doing and achieving what I am capable of?

The perfectionist versus the ‘completionist
Do you focus on completing a task or do you get caught in getting the details just right? When we complete something there is achievement and satisfaction. When we get caught up in getting every small detail perfect we make it very difficult for ourselves to complete a task… it can seem that it won’t ever happen and we become dejected. So we comprise our potential and succumb to a life of ordinariness. We don’t fulfil our potential. Eventually our inner critic paralysis us into inertia and we become unable to take risks. Life becomes heavy, difficult and drudgery. Thinking that this is how it is we re-enforce this experience. Stop and ask yourself: What am I giving life to inside myself?

A) Re-energize. 
Where do we get energy from?
i) Mainly today we take from outside ourselves: company, food etc.
ii) We also have our own inner source of energy. When we step into our own inner energy we experience life becoming easy and flowing. When we step out we struggle.
iii) Then there is the Ocean of peace, love and knowledge. This Source is constantly available to us; we just need to take the time to connect. When we do the battery of our soul becomes energised and the impossible becomes possible as we have the energy to see tasks through fully.

B) Develop your inner qualities.
First become the witness and observer of your thoughts, don’t fight or judge them. Next, focus in on an inner quality, give your thoughts direction. Reflect on this quality. What does it look like? Feel like? As you do this you begin to emerge its experience.

C) Establish a vision of who you are (want to be).

D) Achieve more.
There are three deep habits that stop us achieving our potential: laziness, carelessness and making excuses. See which one catches you out and commit to doing its opposite. Say ‘No’ to these habits and ‘Yes’ to life; to the people and circumstances that come before you. Our soul knows our life-plan and draws to us the people and circumstances needed for it to be fulfilled. Say ‘Yes’ to these. When I say ‘No’ to these I am in effect saying that I don’t feel that I am good enough to attain my potential. I am rejecting myself and suppressing my potential. The result; stress builds up within me and eventually I either become sick or breakdown. It isn’t necessary though to have to hit rock bottom to know that something needs to change. Whatever situations come say ‘Yes,’ and ask ‘What is it that I need to learn here?’ ‘What opportunity is there in this to grow?’ What is it that I can give to this situation to turn it around?’

E) Do an audit of your life.
See how from morning to night:
– You spent your thoughts. Can you write down every thought?
– You were feeling. How much of the day was I moody versus bright, light, cheerful?
– What was my attitude? Was it based on the past?
– How were my actions? Did I do the right thing or what was easy?

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