How many times has someone asked you how you were and your response was, “Busy!” It seems we are always busy. It doesn’t matter if you are a mom or dad, working outside or inside the home, have big kids or littles, participate in swimming, soccer, dance, theater, etc, we are ALL busy in our own ways.
But here is the question, Are we really too busy? Or is it more about the choices we make?
I recently read an article about The Myth of “Too Busy” and it really made me stop and think. This article makes a great point about being busy vs. prioritizing our time. We are not necessarily too busy to clean our kitchen, it might simply be that it isn’t a priority at that time.
Let’s all stop complaining we’re too busy. Let’s tell the truth instead, which is: “I haven’t prioritized my time well.”
Over the past couple of years I have been striving to take the words “too busy” out of my vocabulary and replace them with something, anything else. To do this I had to take a hard look at the things our family was participating in, and decide if each thing was worth the time and effort it was consuming. The more I thought about each thing, and how each of us viewed that activity, the more clear it became what we were enjoying, and what was sucking up our time with little to no return.
I know these are hard decisions to make. It is hard to say no to that seemingly fun field trip, or leave a group you have been a part of for some time. But to slim down your schedule doing these things is necessary. Saying no to some things, and getting rid of things that bring less joy, bring the freedom to spend more time doing the things you love, the things you need to get done, or even nothing if that is what you choose!
How I am turning my “too busy’ into purposeful, intentional living.
This process starts with making choices and setting priorities. Our life was getting so crazy that I had no me time, no down time. I found myself so busy pounding away at the computer that I would put the kids aside to do it! Our youngest was tired of being dragged to the older ones activities and losing out on time for her to just be.
These are the things I chose to focus on to start to get our lives back in order.
1. One Walk
I am trying to take one walk each day. Even if it is just 15-20 minutes to walk the dogs I am trying to get out and move my legs. I prefer to walk the dogs quickly and then get in a 45 minutes power walk for myself if I have time. During this time I listen to my music and let my mind wander. I do some of my best thinking and sorting out when I am free of the clutter and noise.
This task helps me to attain my goal of being more fit, and gives me some much needed space for my mind to wander and think.
2. Two Hours of Computer Work
I have significantly cut back on computer time. My goal is to be around 2 hours a day in front of my computer. This means I need to use my time more efficiently and that I have cut back on certain things (like Pinning). I have a habit of jumping down the rabbit hole on social media. If I find this happening I am closing the application.
I am writing less here at Starts At Eight. While it has been hard to let go of the need to push forward, gain readers, make more money, etc, it has done wonders for my outlook on life. My traffic is down some, but I am learning to be alright with that. The rewards in my personal life and with my children far outweigh this.
3. Three Kids
I have three beautiful babies. They need my love and attention. Pretty soon they will be grown and gone, and I will have missed it. That is NOT what I want. Getting myself motivated and moving with choice like number 1 and 2 above is also helping me make more room and have more energy for them!
I get to say YES! Yes to checking out that new project they are working on. Yes to taking them to the park for the afternoon or on that kayak adventure I promised.
4. Four Bottles of Water
I need to be healthier. I need to drink more water to do that. Along with getting in some exercise with my walks I am also getting hydrated. Feeling better about me means feeling better about everything in general.
We have scaled way back in our daily and nighttime activities. Saying NO has allowed us to say YES to things like pool time, kayaking, family movie night, playing games with the children, vegging in front of the television, downtime for the kids to do what they want (video games, playing with the guinea pig, reading, drawing, etc.). I am so proud to be able to say that we had a night at home while others are going on and on about how ragged they are running. What we have gained, is way more that what we gave up.
We are no longer “too busy”. Instead we are more content, more filled up and more at ease with ourselves and each other.