Today whilst travelling back from the city I overheard two people in conversation competing with each other over how busy they were and who had the least downtime. They weren’t competing for who had the most time to themselves and who found time to relax and enjoy their hobbies. No, they were competing for who was the busiest. As if the less time they had for themselves the more successful and worthwhile they felt!
It is hard not to get caught up sometimes because everybody is busy, busy, busy. The shops are open long hours, seven days a week, we have gyms that are open 24 hours a day every day, and the internet makes everything 24/7! There never seems to be a time where it is ok to sit back and do nothing.
Being constantly on the go seems to equal success. We here this soundtrack everywhere we go: people talking about how many commitments they have and how they never get a second to themselves. Rushing from one thing to the next, never questioning if it is what they desire from life.
All we seem to require is that life keeps getting faster and faster. We want faster transport, faster internet and faster food although thankfully we are getting to the stage where we want that fast food healthy.
But isn’t it time to ask:
- Is all this rushing and being busy truly what we want to be doing with our time on this planet?
- Where are we going in such a hurry?
- Is it leading to an enriched life that brings us contentment?
Now I have to admit I used to have a pretty bad case of ‘Overly Busy Syndrome’.
I believed that I needed to be that busy. After all, I was a single Mum running her own business with no family support. So surely there was no choice for me but to go, go, go. But no matter how hard I worked and how busy I was, I still didn’t feel like I was achieving enough. I wasn’t content.
It is hard to admit but spending time engaging with and playing with my children became another thing on my ‘To Do List’. I would add more and more to my list: I signed up to run the New York Marathon and raise money for charity. At the same time, I was still running my personal training business whilst setting up my coaching business AND decorating my beautiful home. I wore my busyness like a cloak of invincibility. I was so busy, I had all my balls in the air and nothing and nobody could stop me, it was full steam ahead.
Well, I was wrong, I reached burnout. I had to stop and realise I couldn’t be all things to all people.
But I did learn that I needed to slow down.
My ‘Overly Busy Syndrome’ was masking my disillusionment at the direction my business was going.
I was working hard to build my personal training business. I loved to train, I loved marathon running, and I have been lucky enough to have the best clients, many of whom I now consider friends. I got a buzz out knowing I was making a positive difference in my clients’ lives. So why was I so bored and frustrated with my business?
It took some time out for me to realise my passion was to help businesses support employees and customers dealing with domestic violence. I miss the corporate world and realised the fitness industry wasn’t for me. So by slowing down I let my feeling of boredom and frustration surface, I could see the way forward to a fulfilling life I didn’t need to run from.
I am happy to say that I no longer have ‘Overly Busy Syndrome’. I can now step back and look at my life and what I want to achieve, but most importantly I have learnt the wonderful, enriching art of seeking out the support I require and utilising it.
Are you busy, busy, busy?