I’m too busy at the moment… there I said it; guilty as charged.
I’ve not posted on my blog for almost THREE months! So what’s going on with me when I neglect to do the things that are supposedly my passions.
Of course given my love of learning I have distilled some lessons from my recent bout of busyness and wanted to share them with you all.
Here are four things to look out for that may indicate excessive-ness in your life:
Not hearing your little voice
There is a term in leadership speak called “weak signals”. This is meant to represent those little voices in your head or fleeting ideas that are easy to ignore or overlook if you are not actively open to or listening for them. Busyness crowds out your mind and reduces your ability to pick up on these weak signals. Often it is these weak signals that have the perfect answer to wicked problems or complex conundrums. And there is the problem; just when you need a breakthrough idea your are too busy to see the answers that may be just outside of your conscious thinking.
How to hear your little voice: Try BE-ing time, stillness, non-engagement with stimulating activities. One clear example of BE-ing time that I’ve into my day is non-gadget/entertainment time. If you go on public transport no doubt you could survey all the passengers and see that 75%+ will be “consuming” media of some sort on a tablet, phone or laptop. Lately whilst on the tram I just let the tram bounce me along, sitting upright with good posture doing absolutely nothing. I’m not judging anyone else or thinking I’m all zen or anything I’m just letting my thoughts come and go. I do this for 5-10 minutes and then let my thinking settle on whatever is coming up for me in the day ahead. What I find is that my little voice gets heard during this time. Often without trying to get an answer I will know what to do when I enter the busyness of my work day.
When work (life) is dry and you start to question what is the point of it all, it is a sure sign that you have loaded yourself up with a bit much or that you have not got the time to do the things that nourish you (a bit of fun stuff). It has been proven by all the psychology-type folks that small consistent rewards lead to increased happiness and wellness more than massive long term goals realised. Meaning-less-ness comes about when we deny ourselves of the little things that make a big difference to our everyday wellness. You need to know what these are (they differ for different people) and make room for them consistently. This of course means saying “no” to some other things.
One example for me is a breakfast not rushed. Getting up a bit early, grinding my locally roasted fresh coffee beans and making my morning brew on my beautiful Italian espresso machine is a small daily luxury I share with my partner and family. Other examples for me are meditation, yoga… what are yours and are you consistent?
I also need to be a sloth sometimes (see next point).
Lack of sloth-ness
Sloths, I think, get a bad name. Just because they sit around and don’t do much they have become synonymous with laziness. Well I put it to you that a little bit of laziness is not a bad thing. Today for example much to my surprise I got up after midday! I’ve been working a lot as well as doing some volunteer work, plus the kids etc etc… Scheduling in a “do nothing day” I think has merit. Ironically it is on these days that I end up doing what I love (like today, I’m blogging about doing nothing haha…)
Plan and execute a sloth day soon! You have my permission.
All talk-no action
When what you say you stand for and your actions are not aligned, this may indicate that you are not living your values. Busyness to the point where the things you hold dear (passions) do not get into your actions means you may need to take stock of what you are prioritising. For me right now I’m coaching a few clients, consulting full time and doing some volunteer work. This leaves little room for much else apart from family; professionally I’m not blogging and my project to deliver online career videos has stalled. I CAN’T DO EVERYTHING (as much as I want to).
I don’t think this sign is “bad” as long as you have a level of awareness around what is important to you and at least over the medium term you have a plan to ensure your priorities change to be better aligned to your values. For me that means reducing my consulting to 3-4 days/week and then putting time into other professional pursuits. The challenge is to not talk about this but to action it..!
What about you; where are you all talk no action?
Recently a relative of mine kept going on about a certain political issue, discussing all the ins and outs of what it means for society in Australia. This person has the brains, time and enough money to professionally do something about this issue. So one day I challenged this person saying “you talk a lot about this issue, why don’t you do something; talk is cheap”. To his credit he did
I hope this helps you on your way in your work and life; I enjoy sharing, it gives me a little bit of meaning knowing my readers are reading