How to reprioritize what is keeping you busy, but not moving you forward
Sometimes busy is just busy. There is a difference between living in a state of perpetual motion and living — checking everything off your to-do list vs. accomplishing something, i.e. making real strides toward that which truly feeds your soul.
I know, you are probably wondering, Who has time to feed their soul in the midst of all of this busyness? Precisely my point.
Tis’ the season for a lot of things, and busy is at the top of the list. Are you simply going to fall in line? I recently made a frustrating revelation about myself and I thought by sharing it, you might relate to it, or uncover your own version. This, coming from one admittedly whose middle name is ‘busy’.
We all do things each day that mindlessly keep us from dealing with what we are really feeling or what is preventing us from getting where we desire to go. That could be in the arena of our self-care, love life, career or even our bank accounts. Addiction comes in many forms. I self-medicate with busyness.
Busyness is a great imposter. It makes you feel accomplished on one hand, but it also diverts your attention. Going for what we want in life requires guts and determination to stay the course. This is the space where we intuitively know we need to take action steps to back up our desire, but then we get distracted by taking care of myriad other things first. When did we start this practice of prioritizing everything else before ourselves? I think we’ve got this backwards.
All I want for Christmas is a ‘busyness break’. But this isn’t something Santa can leave for me under the tree tied up with a satin bow. No, if I desire to grow deeper, stronger and more fulfilled in my life — I’m going to have to shift the list around a bit (like turn it upside down!).
OK, so here’s the no-brainer alert.
I have been hiding behind ‘busy’. It is how I have justified to myself why I’m not where I want to be in my life, why I don’t have what I want, why I’m not who I want to be and worse yet, why I get to mentally beat myself up regarding all of the above. Can we say vicious cycle? Can you relate?
This recent revelation seems beyond obvious, right? News flash: they usually are. As a matter of fact, they are typically embarrassingly obvious — so much so, that we dismiss them as trivial — like, seriously, how did I not see that before? It can’t possibly be that simple. But it is — so let’s not overcomplicate everything for ourselves. That’s the first gift you can give yourself. And hey, you just freed up some mind time!
My inner martyr loves mentally checking things off her list as if I will be awarded some great prize.
And yet, it is often the thing that sucks us dry, taking our inspiration along with it and leaving no room for the things that genuinely nurture us. This is where we abandon ourselves and the longer we practice this, the further our desires recede into the horizon. For example, if I’m complaining about not getting something done in my life, I have to look at why that isn’t happening. What role am I playing, standing between the desired outcome and reality? Busy lets me off the hook and helps me rationalize things, like all good excuses do.
Busyness is a great imposter. It makes us feel accomplished, but also diverts our attention.Click to tweet
Yes, life is busy. Busy is a part of being an entrepreneur, running a household, raising children (fill in your own blanks). When I was recently pleading with myself about not making the mark with respect to personal goals, I kept coming back to the same thing: there isn’t enough time, I’m too busy.
The truth is that there is always enough time, I’m simply prioritizing ‘busy’ and allowing it to stand before everything else. With respect to myself, I’ve been complaining about something that I haven’t been doing anything about (aside from complaining)!
In my recent interview with Mike Dooley, the man behind the daily messages, Notes From The Universe, I gleaned a pearl of wisdom that spoke specifically to this. He used a parked car and its GPS system as the metaphor for our desires. Essentially he says that if we keep the car in ‘park’ (i.e. taking no action steps in the direction of that desire, waiting idly for the Universe or magical fairies to drop our dreams-come-true from the heavens above), the GPS system doesn’t know where to guide us. However, If we give it a target or a goal, put the car in drive — suddenly it has a destination and can leap into action. I realized busyness has kept my car (my true desires) in park.
OK, so where do we begin with all of this? We take a busyness break. We give ourselves the space to assess where we are in this moment. Check-in and simply ask yourself:
- Is there an area of my life where I’m running at a deficit (self-care, career, love relationship, finances, etc.)?
- Even if I can’t see it differently right now or see how change is possible — is there something I desire that I am not taking action steps towards?
If your answers are yes and yes — remove your dancing shoes. When we figure out what the issue is, we can stop dancing around it with excuses. For me, I had to own the fact that I was allowing busyness to stand between me and my desires. It’s scary to go for it — to make ourselves vulnerable, to put ourselves out there, to declare what we want. But the reality is that we need to ask ourselves — what are we so scared of, failing? At least in my case, I was already failing by self-sabotaging myself. So what did I have to lose? I’m committed to giving this a go — and decided to flip my scheduling around — highest goals first, busyness second.
Could you — wait, strike that! Would you create some space for yourself to get really specific and crystal clear about what your desires are? And then would you be honest with yourself about what you are currently doing that is standing between you and those desires? Would you take a ‘busyness break’ to recalibrate your GPS, to map out where you want to go, to initiate your emotional healing and to set your amazingness loose?
This is the place where you will meet up with your best self — and trust me, s/he is going to be so relieved from having to chase you down! Get your car out of park and unleash your brilliant self.
Where have you been parking your car? Sharing our stories can help us all move forward — please share yours in the comments below!