I’ve been delinquent in writing here lately, but it certainly is not because I’ve been lazy. Or maybe I have. A saying I ponder often is: busyness is a form of laziness.
I know it is true for me. There is a never ending stream of “things to do.” Email, chores, clients to see, family duties, email, paying bills, keeping in touch with people, articles to both read and write, shopping, email, books to read, videos to watch, facebook, email… If I spelled it all out the list would be endless, like my email. When I’m caught up in “git-r-done” mode (sorry, I’m originally from the south), it feels like I’m on an endless treadmill of doing.
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As you know, I’m someone who advocates for mindfulness and self-awareness, and I do my best to walk the walk too. So each night I sit for at least 5-15 minutes to “do nothing.” To just sit and let my mind slow down and check in to see where I’m at on this day. But I notice when I’m caught up in my periods of busyness, it is so much harder to actually drop in. My mind wants to just keep going, “don’t stop now,” it says, “you’ve got much more to do on your list.” It’s like my system wants to stay in motion. As Newton taught us, “an object in motion tends to stay in motion.” I guess the laws of physics apply to us too!
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It really does feel like that to me, like when I’m in the “git-r-done” mode I have momentum on my side, which helps propel me through my tasks and with momentum, I’m able to get more done. I’ve also noticed though, that staying in this mode of busyness comes at a price. I know I lose a level of quality, precision, and depth. The focus is more on the checking things off the list than it is on doing things well. I tend to cut corners. And I don’t really give myself into the richness of each moment that I have with the people that are involved in my interactions.
But here is the most important consequence in my opinion. By staying in motion, it is like we are on plane on a boat. We are skimming along the surface not really sinking into the water. We lose touch with ourselves. I know when I’m in busyness, I’m less available to my feelings, my empathy, my intuition, and I’m less available to connect with other people. I lose touch with how “I’m” doing and I’m just “doing.” I start to feel like the cog in the wheel. I’m less available to myself and to the people in my life that matter most. Any of these sound familiar?