“Beware of the barrenness of a busy life.”
According to Eric Schmidt, the former CEO of Google, five exabytes of data were created between the dawn of civilization and 2003, and now that much is created every two days. And we try to process it all, on the phone, the iPad®, the laptop, in the car. Between information overload and crazy, hectic schedules, most people are burnt-out, overloaded and running at breakneck speed, being superbusy.
However, many people are now bragging about how busy they are; it’ s become a form of status. People don’t take vacations because they’re too busy. They eat at their desks if they eat at all. They sacrifice their sleep to get it all done and find themselves trying to play catch up. And this is especially true for women, who still carry the greatest burden of housecleaning and childcare. Society projects that’s it’s cool to be busy. But is it really?
The costs are enormous- to your health, your family and even to your brain, which is actually shrinking from constant overwhelm, according to the Yale Stress Center.
How to Reclaim Your Life
• Check Your Schedule – What’s there that is not contributing to your personal higher good, that takes you away from your highest leveraged, greatest ROI activities? What could you delegate? What could you say no to? Who could you ask for help? Start clearing at least an hour a day for yourself- alone.
• Spend time in Nature – Being outside is healing. And yet we spend only 8% of our time there. Running water (oceans, rivers, streams) releases negative ions, which help us feel better. Trees have an natural grounding quality. The sun is critical to our intake of Vitamin D. Get outside for at least 20 minutes every day.
• Cut out the distractions – Tony Schwartz recommends 90 minutes of solid uninterrupted time to work on a high level project. No phones, no texts, no beeps, no interruptions, no emails, no music, no TV. It’s amazing how much you can get done.
• Lose Yourself In A Great Hobby – Have you ever been so caught up in doing something you love that you lost track of time? That’s called flow. For me, when I am making fused glass or ballroom dancing, I don’t think about anything else. I am completely present, totally focused, and always happy during those moments. Find them and schedule them in. They’re key to your peace of mind.
Getting over the need to be constantly busy takes focus and choice. You can do it! And reap great rewards as a result!