Happiness, Busy-ness & Busy Less
Richard Scarry has a lot to answer for. I think he may have indoctrinated us all to believe that grown ups are busy and it’s the subject de jour in the chat department. Are you a super busy multi-tasker? Are you spinning in circles most days trying to get things done? Hmm. We tend to wear our busy-ness as a badge of honour. Someone asks how we are and we say ‘Busy!’ or they might say ‘I bet you’re busy!’ It’s seen as a way to compliment each other, to acknowledge the work we’re each doing, to pay homage to our work ethic and responsibilities. I like the place that’s all coming from. I’m totally all for complimenting, acknowledging and paying homage. I really am. But I think it’s kind of nice to mix this up a bit, sort of get out of Busytown for the day (or for life!) Take a different route. I think we can get things done in a calm, positive manner. I think we don’t have to be ‘busy’. I think that life is always jam packed full of stuff to do and we can choose to approach it with a more quietly determined attitude. We can just take it in our stride.
There are a few ways we can tackle this calm, busy less idea. And we can create happier days in the process. Here are 3 quick tips to help you on your way.
1. Double Tasking :: I’ve written about my efforts to avoid multi tasking before. I tried to single task, in fact, without a lot of success. I came to the conclusion that double tasking is the key to calm and productivity for me. Maybe you will like it too? I can’t quite manage one thing at a time, because I always like to have an eye on the computer, an ear on the radio or perhaps glance casually at the telly. But I make sure that I do only one other thing whilst I’m eyeing or earing or glancing. I know that you may be mad when I say that multi-tasking doesn’t work for me. But I really DO find that I feel LESS crazy busy and get MORE done when I take the juggling pressure off myself and narrow my focus. I enjoy what I am doing, and that helps me get more done. I’m much happier with the concentrated results of my efforts. It’s the sort of happy I don’t get from racing through tasks in a box-ticky, frantic way.
2. Passion First :: (titter!) No. I’m not talking about sex. Although, if that IS your passion, then perhaps I am. Go YOU! I’m talking about taking the time to think about the things you really love to do and making the time to do those things. I guess it might seem that you are adding things to your busy schedule by doing this. I guess you are. But sometimes by adding things in we create opportunities to live smarter. Don’t underestimate the boundless energy and happiness you can derive from focusing on the things that are meaningful to you. It’s important to remember who you are and what you love. Connect with YOU! Choose your passion and make it a priority. You don’t need a big block of time. Even 5 or 10 minutes a day (every day!) is great if that’s all you can manage. I promise you that 5 or 10 minutes will translate into a happier you, chock full of bigger and better ideas, full of positivity and ready to go! Plus, you know that you’ve got something you love on your plate every day. Ace. Put your passions first and the rest will follow, calmly and happily.
3. Move Your Body :: Okay. This is another one that you might be adding into your day. Or perhaps you already exercise. I’m not even talking about sweating it out. I’m talking about getting your body moving, even by taking a gentle walk, to increase your physical and mental well-being. A recent study asked why people continue to exercise, long-term. The result? Rather than being motivated by building muscle or flattening their stomachs, for example, most exercisers cited the feelings of well-being they derived from exercise, along with increased pep and energy, and how exercise helped them sleep better and made them more relaxed. There we go again. Increased energy, a feeling of relaxation and increased sleep. All cornerstones of a productive, calm life. Unless you sleep through your alarm…
I’ve got lots more ideas about how to be happier and get out of Busytown. (I’ll share those with you right here in the coming months.) I think we can get stuff done in a calm, assured way, whilst still doing the things we want to do. I think we can be our own serene champions of productivity and creativity. And when people ask us how we are, we can say ‘Really GREAT’ or ‘Awesome’ or ‘Totes Rad!’ Because that’s truly the result of not focusing on BUSY! And it’s totally infectious. People NOTICE the change from frantic to content. They will ask you what you are taking! They will want the prescription. Pass it on…
Also :: We’re talking Breaking Bad, our new BOOK CLUB and Bad Hair over on Facebook today. Come join us! It’s not busy at all! And the featured image on this post (at top) is via Stitchcraft Creations.
Pip Lincolne is a blogger, shop keeper, author and mother of 3.