Are you Addicted to Busy-ness? - Sue Ritchie

Are you Addicted to Busy-ness?

Are you Addicted to Busy-ness?

First, let’s take a look at the Oxford dictionary definition of Busy-ness.  It defines it as the state or condition of having a great deal to do. Yes I can agree with that.

Another dictionary also defines it as “Lively but meaningless activity.”  Now that I am on the other side of being a busy-ness addict, I can also see that as being true as well. I am sure that your hackles will be probably going up now at the thought that your huge amounts of activity might somehow be meaningless.  You are probably saying “Hang on a minute,  when I am busy I am doing very important work ”  and “How dare you suggest that some of it might be activity for the sake of activity”.  I totally get that and a few year’s ago I would have been saying the same thing!

Being busy makes me important

How often do you find yourself telling people “I’m just so busy”?

Do you find yourself comparing notes with other people about your level of busy-ness? Inside, secretly you are wanting for you to come out as being the busiest.

Inside you are  saying “ just see how busy I am, I must be worthwhile.”  Is that right?

Do you secretly love telling people that you had 5 meetings today, then you have an event that you must attend in the evening, but you also have a report that you need to finish before tomorrow  and of course, that will mean you probably will only get about 3 hours sleep?

I do have to admit that I did get a certain amount of pleasure and validation sharing how busy I was. It made me feel important and valued.

When someone asks you how you’re doing how often do you respond by talking about how busy you are? I certainly used to.

What’s the pay-off from Busy-ness?

I remember the first time I heard of the idea of being addicted to busy-ness. Part of me wanted to protest: “But I HAVE to do these things. I don’t WANT to be so busy.” But deep down I knew that even if I did have obligations, I was taking on things I didn’t want or need to do to & telling myself stories about what it meant if I didn’t do them. (My inner critic would be having a field day!)

Then when I stopped and took some time to really examine my constant state of busy-ness, I realized that even though I was pushing myself to the breaking point and felt pretty miserable, I was actually “getting something” from trying to do more than I could handle. I was addicted to busy-ness.  Is that you?

It might sound strange to think there might be a payoff to pushing ourselves to the breaking point, but the truth is our culture celebrates busy-ness. When someone is busy we tend to see them as more important, more productive, stronger, even potentially more selfless (sacrificing their own well being for the sake of “getting it done.”) They are so loyal and dedicated aren’t they?

Busy-ness will be limiting your true potential

But the truth is, busy-ness is more likely to be BLOCKING you from living your potential. When you’re feeling totally exhausted from being so busy you can’t have your best ideas or do your best work. You can’t be your best self. That will also be having a negative knock on effect on other areas of your life – your love relationship, your social relationships, your children, your health and wellbeing.

Taking a break makes you feel guilty

Do you find yourself feeling guilty when you actually do take a break? Let me tell you that you are not alone. I always felt guilty about going on holiday and not working. But then to be honest I was never totally switched off from work whilst on holiday. Did I feel well rested when I got back? The truth is no.

I learnt that busy-ness was a manifestation of control. In doing so, I said, “No thank you,” to all the moments of magic and perfection the Universe had to offer me. My life was devoid of fun and joy. My soul wasn’t being fed. I lost connection to myself, the real me, the spiritual part of me.  There was this feeling deep inside that something was missing.  I’d be asking is this really what life is all about?

Many of us have absorbed the idea that if we’re not busy we’re not reaching our full potential. Is that how you feel?

Are you open to the possibility that this might not be true and there is a totally different way to be living your life where your needs are centre stage and met?

Do you feel that something is missing and that you deserve so much more in your life?

Ask yourself, “What is it costing me to stay exactly the same?”

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