No doubt you’ve heard the old saying ‘if you want something done give it to a busy person’….it’s almost something many of us women, in particular, strive for….we can even turn it into a competition to see who can be the busiest….keep saying YES to everything, booking yourself solid, running around in circles and rushing absolutely everywhere we go….because being busy is proof of your value and attached to your self-worth….’the busier we are, the more we are needed and then the more we are valued’ right ????…..well so I thought….
Does that sound familiar ?
I used to be that person too !!
However I now personally choose NOT to be ‘too busy’ anymore as I’ve felt the impact first hand, and it was harsh and costly on so many levels!!
Time is undoubtedly your most precious asset (and health runs very close of course) and once gone it can NEVER be retrieved….yet do you truly value where your time goes ?
I used to be the person who was always rushing around, I saw clients back to back 5 days per week and then completed all the administrative work on the weekends, I was married, I worked full-time in my own business, and I managed staff as well, and then of course that simply wasn’t enough so I chose to also study full-time to complete my doctorate (by coursework) degree in the process.
I fell pregnant and of course the uni course director told me I ‘couldn’t possibly do that and should withdraw or go part-time’….and always one to be up for the challenge I ignored what was suggested and continued to run my business full-time, and do my doctorate full-time. To top it all off I couldn’t move to the town the uni was in due to my commitments so I also travelled 5 hours each way from home to uni every Sunday and back 5 hours every Wednesday night after 3 full days of uni to work the rest of the week, and then do assignments on the weekend, and administrative work for the business, stayed up extremely late and then repeated the process week after week, and I became more and more pregnant and exhausted in the process.
Fast forward a few years and I have a husband and two beautiful children whom I adore, however I continued to work full-time in my own business and managed a whole 6 weeks off after both of them (as I didn’t believe I could not be busy) and then jumped from the frying pan back into the fire.
My kids were in Family Day Care and they enjoyed it, they were well adjusted overall and they thrived, but they were there from 8-8:30am every day and we didn’t get home til almost 6pm. It was a VERY long day. Then we’d have some time together, whilst I rushed around getting dinner and then sat down to play for a while and then it was bedtime. And so it went day in and day out.
Then they started school and after school they went to after school care and they had friends and they enjoyed it…..but all they really wanted was time with ME.
This continued for years, I worked hard, I managed a successful business with over 20 staff, and I helped out with extracurricular activities when I could and operated pretty much on autopilot…. I was busy and I was resigned to the fact that this was just how life was ‘meant to be’.
Eventually my kids spoke up and I still remember to this day them begging me not to make them go to vacation care for the school holidays and to pick them up from school sometimes. It hit me like a ton of bricks….Enough was Enough !!
For what purpose was I working anyway ?
In my head I was working to make a difference in the lives of my clients, but also to make enough money to support my family and enjoy a reasonably good lifestyle…..BUT….I had clearly gotten lost in the process….
I was neglecting the things that mattered most….the wonderful people in my life who I love and treasure. My kids barely saw me, and even when they did I was so preoccupied with work stuff, or the thousand other things that needed doing…. So I really wasn’t as emotionally available as I wanted to be.
Apparently I’m a slow learner and I still didn’t get the wake-up call I needed and I continued to work hard and keep busy and take on more and more things….but I did pick my kids up from school a couple of days per week and then sit at home and do more work but at least they were home with me right ??!!
Then I had reconstructive ankle surgery in 2011 which resulted in a golden staph infection and major complications that almost cost me my life….and FINALLY after four surgeries and months of intermittent hospitalizations I realised that I had to change or I may not be here to enjoy the important things in life.
I decided I had to reprioritize what was important to me….I made a decision and a choice NOT to be ‘too busy’ anymore and to focus on what was really important in my life:-
- My Family
- My Health
- My Lifestyle
I worked on my mindset and engaged in activities that brought joy and fulfillment to my life and looked at changing my beliefs and personal identity to become someone who was so much more than a ‘Business Owner’….someone who is a Mum, a Wife, a friend, a Business owner, a community contributor and I decided that life is too short to waste it being busy….that I needed to LIVE it instead…. to keep doing what really matters and my sense of value and self-worth will come from me feeling more fulfilled and doing what I love and Being who I really am.
Busyness was really just me being avoidant, and seeking self-worth externally when really it was up to me to find it within.
I urge you not to keep wasting your life doing what I did, to waste some of the best years of your life, wearing busyness as a badge of honour as you really are only fooling yourself and doing damage to the people that matter the most to you.
Stop being the person who is in their mid 40’s who works full-time, who is always looking to be ‘better’ and ‘stronger’ to accomplish more, to study to feel more valuable, to ultimately fill the void that you alone have created all by yourself. Stop trying to be ‘Superwoman’ and then rushing around trying to squeeze in exercise or going to the gym (because you ‘should’), yet being so emotionally and physically spent that you feel as though you could collapse at any time. You no doubt have chronic health issues, hormones that are all over the place because of your own choices and behaviours, fatigue that really is sheer exhaustion, sugar cravings because that’s the only way to stop the energy depletion and adrenal fatigue that is a constant in your life.
Make a different choice and do a very raw and realistic overview of your life as a whole….
Be ruthless and Take These 5 Steps Now or nothing will ever change:-
- Who is most important in your life ?
- What do you really value the most ? Prioritise what truly matters !
- What daily self-care ritual will you choose (meditation, visualization, relaxation etc)
- Do a review of your business to see where you can actually recoup a lot more time – Package up what you already do, Leverage your time by reaching more people at the same time and Outsource tasks that others could do more efficiently and cost effectively. Then take action and Implement.
- Put clear Boundaries in place and learn to say NO. Then be consistent with these boundaries and contract with yourself to only do what fits within your boundaries.
Busyness really is NOT a badge of honour to wear with pride….it is a destructive path that will lead you nowhere healthy….it is a sign of avoidance, or numbing yourself from really feeling things and will come at huge cost to your relationships, your health and ultimately your life.
True Value, Happiness and Self-Worth come from within so adjust your mindset Implement the 5 Steps Above and make a choice to have them all now.
To Your Success