Kicking the “Busyness” Addiction for a Better FitDr. Dana Schon,Professional Learning Director
The “busyness” addiction (a mindset): A drive to succeed and a compulsion to get more done, which ironically, is counterproductive because there is always more to do. People become addicted to feelings of exhilaration and importance at having completed many tasks (being busy), but such feelings are illusory because the to-do list never ends. In the name of “being busy,” addicts sacrifice time with families and colleagues; and their own physical, spiritual, and mental health suffers.
Are you… Plugged-in 24/7? Always challenged to see how many tasks you can complete in the shortest amount of time? Failing to slow down? Always multi-tasking? So focused on tasks and being “busy” that you lose touch with your surroundings? Your relationships? Yourself? Consumed by escalating demands—Feeling like you could always do more professional reading, more professional writing, more observations, more communication, more, more, more? Avoiding times of quiet and solitude? Anxious and uncomfortable in those moments when you do find yourself with nothing to do? Failing to be present in the moment? Feeling guilty about saying “no” or “doing nothing”?
A feeling of indifference or numbing of feelings Depression Lack of enjoyment Frustration at the inability to keep the pace of the ever-growing to-do list Disconnection from people we care about Ineffective use of time due to feelings of being overwhelmed—uncertain where to start Fragmentation—lack of cohesion in our day-day lives and work
Urgent Non-urgent Quadrant 1 Quadrant 2 When your direction is clear, Quadrant of Necessity Quadrant of Quality and managing your time and Personal Leadership resources to achieve your Examples: Deadline- Important goals becomes easier. driven projects, crises, Examples: problem resolution of immediate prevention, relationship Consider creating the matrix problems building, professional to the right and organizing growth and development, improving the tasks that occupy your leadership-life fit time according to their urgency and importance Quadrant 3 Quadrant 4 Not important Strive to structure a Quadrant of Quadrant of Escape Deception/Illusion schedule that supports you Examples: trivia, in spending the bulk of your Examples: Interruptions, busywork, Internet time in quadrant 2 certain phone surfing, private calls calls/emails/meetings/rep orts, certain pressing matters
Just Say NO! “Thanks for asking, but no, I simply can’t.” “I appreciate that you asked, but no, I am unable to at this time.” “I’m sorry, no.” All the mistakes I ever made in my life were when I wanted to say No, and said Yes. ~Moss Hart
Do one thing at a time. Try it just for today! If you are a multi-tasker, you will need practice to change your behavior! Start with small steps—one day. Be present in every moment. Focus solely on the person with whom you engage in conversation. Drive without using your Bluetooth (or any device). Watch t.v. without reading, writing, or engaging in some other task. Be present!
Question your beliefs. Write down all your beliefs about relaxation, work, multi- tasking, busyness, etc. and question them. What mental models are keeping you consumed by “busyness”?
Dont underestimate the value of Doing Nothing, of just going along, listeningto all the things you cant hear, and not bothering. ~Poohs Little Instruction Book, inspired by A.A. Milne
Schedule down time. Honor your commitments to yourself. If you commit to leaving work at 5:30, do it. This means leaving the work, too! No cheating! Make a date with a significant other or good friend. Unplug. Power down.*Strategies adapted from Are You Addicted To Busyness? By Carlene Ashby:http://www.makeithappennow.org/advice/are-you-addicted-to-busyness/