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Coaching to Empower You

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  • Writer's pictureDawn E Geschiere

Give Your "BUSY" Self A Rest

Sometimes I end up buried under scheduled yeses. Most things on my calendar are worthwhile--they fit with who I am and what I'm meant to do. Still, I get buried under them before I realize it's hard to breathe.

What about you--do you ever find yourself the kind of B.U.S.Y. that means you're "Buried Under Scheduled Yeses?"

If you're someone who's being intentional with what you say no or yes to doing, maybe you'd like to reassure me:

"Listen, Dawn, there's a good busy and bad busy. I'm getting quite good at saying no more often. I've whittled down my commitments to a few areas that align with my skills/gifts and values or are supportive of my family members. My busy days are scheduled with necessary and important things. Not to worry, Dawn--I'm being very responsible with my limited time and energy. Yes, my calendar is full, but it's filled with my well thought out yeses."

If this describes you, you sound like you're working hard to set clear and good boundaries. Good for you--I'm genuinely impressed with your intentionality.

Yes, and... keep reading. Be open to reconsidering your relationship with being and staying busy, even if your busy life is filled with intentional and worthwhile scheduled yeses.

First, let me be clear. There's nothing inherently wrong or right about being busy in and of itself. Yet here I am asking you to rethink how you often you use (or think) the word and consider giving your busy self a rest.

Is The Word "Busy" Exhausting You?

I've noticed how sick and tired I am of hearing the word "busy" every time I ask how someone is doing. More importantly, I'm exhausted in hearing myself respond with that word: Busy, busy, busy.

I'm also sick and tired of pressuring myself to be "busy" each day, especially during the traditional Monday through Friday work week. (Entrepreneurship may offer flexible scheduling, but the tasks related to growing and running a business still call for BUSY days.) It's nauseating to run the same monologue in my mind, "You're not doing enough of what it takes to run a business."

I'm curious whether you might be a bit weary of the word "busy" too. Maybe it's time to consider your relationship to the word, "busy" itself and notice what connotations you associate with being and staying busy.

What is that keeps you and I so determined to characterize ourselves as "busy" when someone asks us, "How are you?"

What Does "Busy" Tell Someone About You?

Let's start with this question: What does being busy tell someone about how you and I are actually showing up at that moment in time?

Saying you're busy belongs in a category with all of the trendy, overused words that end up losing all of their meaning. "Busy" offers someone a vague, nebulous answer that doesn't tell a person a whole lot about how we're doing at that moment.

No, I'm not advocating that you respond to a store cashier's question, "How are you?," with exactly how you're really doing by giving them all of your nitty gritty truth in vivid detail. Who has time for that?

What I am suggesting will take some quick reflection on your part, a quick check-in with yourself when you're asked how you're doing. Breathe. Pause and let the question itself offer you its awareness.

Here are a few quick prompts that might be helpful if you manage to pause a few seconds before responding...

  • Honestly, how am I really doing?

  • What's a truthful word or phrase that will offer this person a truthful response as to how I really am in this moment?

When you respond with a genuine, focused word or phrase you're meaningfully engaging with the individual who asked the question. In addition to the benefits to your own internal check-in, your truthful and non-generic response might make a difference to the one asking you.

Meaningful connections: Don't we all want days filled with more of these interactions?

What's So Important About Being Busy?

Next, ask yourself: How important is it for me to be busy, or for others to hear and see how busy I am?

Notice what kind of pressure you're placing on yourself to live a busy life, to produce. Think about your own emphasis on leading a busy life and whether you connect busy days to productivity.

Now that I've tipped my hat to give you my current bias to the word....

Rest Connects You With Yourself and Others

What might happen if you gave your busy self a rest? I'm not talking about a quick moment of rest, but days with plenty of space to rest and nourish your well-being.

Perhaps you and I need to refresh our perspective on what it means to be productive. What if giving yourself a rest actually produces a meaningful connection with yourself that will ultimately benefit others?

Since I'm busy offering you an acronym like B.U.S.Y. (Buried Under Scheduled Yeses), I'll offer you another acronym for your R.E.S.T....

Radically Engaged Solitude Time - Rest without devices and screens to connect with yourself (which includes a nap if that's the kind of rest you need most).

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