Feeling Busy? It Actually Has Nothing To Do With Your To-Do List

How busy are you really?

Since the release of my book in the end of January, I’ve been having lots of conversations about busyness. At least, more so than usual.

A common theme that keeps coming up is that some people ‘like’ being busy. They tell me when they’re busy they feel like they’re achieving, doing well and making progress. They share that when their schedule is full and they have lots on their To-Do list it excites them, encourages them to keep going.

This is a perfectly natural reaction to have. And people are somewhat surprised—given I teach people how to free themselves from busy—when I respond, “Great!”.

Here’s the thing—when I talk about being ‘busy’ I’m not talking about the number of commitments in your diary or how long your action items list is.

What I’m talking about is your relationship to your pattern of busyness—and, most importantly: how it makes you feel.

‘Busy’ is a feeling and has little to do with your time management skills.

If you want to feel more productive, it’s not about getting more done, it’s about creating an environment that makes you feel good, and having the most effective strategy in place to focus on what matters most.

If you love that sense of achievement that comes from getting things done, I’m not asking you to stop doing.

What I am asking you to do is to consider how each of these scenarios makes you feel, and why you are doing those things in the first place.

If your incentive is to feel good, and it’s working—great, motor on!

However, if there are times when you can honestly say your incentive has a lot more to do with so-in-so thinking you’re great when you get things done, the praise you receive from your friend for always being available, or your concerns over what people would think if you didn’t have it all together—then, we need to talk.

I’ve been sharing with others that there are distinctly different types of busy, and if you ultimately want to live a life that feels productive, full of joy and free—then getting to know how each of these types shows up in your life is critical.

The first step you can take is simply to notice the different feelings that show up around what you currently associate with ‘busy’. What things, activities, people, places, schedules, commitments, or scenarios equal excitement and spurred action versus overwhelm, stress and pressure building?

You could even make a list, with one column simply saying “the yay! busy” and the next column saying “the nay! busy”. Every time you notice a sensation you attach to ‘busy’ note it down in a column.

Over time you’ll start to identify that the pattern that you run for each of those columns is very different—and knowing that is the difference that makes all the difference in creating a life that is full of freedom, ease and success.

Let me know how you go exploring, I’m so curious to hear what you discover.