By Dr. Susan Ziebarth
This past week one of our team members lost his mother. It is amazing how in an instant everything in your world changes. The mix of deep sadness and appreciation for a dear loved one mix to create a stirring whirr of emotions and activities. Our hearts and love go out to his family.
Time really is the great equalizer. Everybody gets the same amount: 24 hours in a day, 60 minutes in an hour. We can’t save time or accumulate or rearrange it. We can’t turn it off or on. It can’t be replaced and we don’t know when time our time is up.
Heading into the holiday season, we can easily get swept up in all the activities of the family recitals, school functions, shopping, religious commitments, professional regulatory requirements. With these things in mind I thought it might be a good time to offer you a quick Self-Quiz to see if you are Caught up in “BusyNess” and are Too Busy!
These days, it seems as if the lament of not having enough time has become a national anthem. Everywhere people find themselves constantly in a rush, over-booked and over-scheduled with no time off. Life is accompanied by the ongoing stress of not enough time. And sometimes doing too much and being too busy can be a way of numbing feelings or disguising depression or anger.
Though it may not always seem so, how we fill our time and how we spend it is our choice. I am working on a research project for a book on high-achieving women and it is very enlightening how some women say yes and mean no, other say no and mean it, and others say yes and mean it! I think the key appears to be to understand when to say no and mean it so that the valuable yeses can shine through.
Answer the following questions to discover if you’re caught up in the “BusyNess” cycle.
I constantly find myself doing “urgent” things and trying to catch up.
I allow myself to drift into obligations when I don’t know how much time or energy they’ll require.
I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I’m always tired and never feel like I accomplished enough.
I seldom schedule a day off for myself and when I do, I tend to fill it with activities.
I don’t make time for “self-care” activities: physical exercise, nurturing or “pampering” myself, cultural stimulation, spiritual well-being, learning something new, playing, or simply doing nothing.
I seldom have time to do the things I really love.
My work and project areas are cluttered with “I’ll look at this later” stacks and “to-do” piles.
I often miscalculate how long certain activities will take.
I often miss deadlines or work long hours to meet a deadline.
I respond to interruptions such as phone calls, faxes, email, beepers and pagers, and allow them to take me off track.
I try to keep things in my head rather than making lists. If I do make a daily “to-do” list, it’s impossible to complete in a day.
I tend to move from one urgent thing to the next, rather than working toward specific goals and objectives.
I find myself constantly wishing I had more time or projecting an imaginary future when I have more time, making comments such as “as soon as…” or “next year…”
I spend time running errands and rushing because I didn’t plan well enough.
I spend time doing things I could pay someone else to do.
I often do things because I “should,” or continue to do things that no longer fit who I am.
Other people complain that my schedule doesn’t allow enough time for them.
Do you recognize yourself in these questions? Share with us in the comments below what one thing you can do to make a difference for YOU this week to reduce “BusyNess”?