Being constantly too busy seems to have become the norm in life, work and society. But being busy all the time brings with it significant issues. Things like:

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How to stop being too busy

Being too busyBeing constantly too busy seems to have become the norm in life, work and society.

But being busy all the time brings with it significant issues. Things like:

  • increasing feelings of stress, frustration and overwhelm
  • negatively impacting wellbeing, health and quality of life
  • no time, space or energy for new goals or creating change
  • neglecting more important things
  • damaging relationships
  • reducing personal effectiveness
  • makes you feel less fulfilled

This list could go on and on. The toxicity of being too busy all the time permeates every area of your life, work, health and relationships. Yes, it is that serious.

Being too busy all of the time sucks the living daylights out of you. It can feel like peddling a hamster wheel really hard and not know how to get off the damn thing.

But it doesn’t have to be this way. Being busy doesn’t have to be your norm. You can change it.

If you are fed up with being too busy all of the time, here are some ideas to get you on the path to being less busy:

Stop settling for being too busy

Just because you are currently too busy doesn’t mean it has to stay that way. Just because everyone else buys into being busy as a way of life doesn’t mean you have to. Decide that you are going to stop settling for being too busy.

I know it can feel really hard to break the cycle. But the good news is that being too busy is a product of mindset, habits and conditioning (by self and society) – and they are all things that can be changed. The key is to commit to finding a way and then sticking with it consistently and persistently to create a new reality for yourself.

Stop telling yourself, and anyone that will listen, how busy you are. Eliminate the word busy from your vocabulary and your conversations with yourself and others.

Get ruthless about what you allow yourself to spend your time on. Cut out the drivel and trivial things that contribute no really meaning or value to your life. For example, binge watching TV, gossiping, wasting time on the damn cell phone, computer and other gadgets etc.

Important note: be careful you are not deluding yourself that you are too busy. If you are doing those sort of things regularly and habitually the problem isn’t that you are too busy. The problem is that you are wasting your precious time…..and life!

Stop overcommitting and overscheduling yourself

Often we commit to far more than we can possibly do in the time we have. Plus, many tasks often take longer than we think they will. Overcommitting and overscheduling will keep you peddling the busy hamster wheel ongoing.

Create a system for yourself that stops you doing this. For example, set limits for how many things you take on at any one time and still live and work at an enjoyable pace. Once you reach that limit set yourself a rule that you don’t take anything else on. Or, if you want or need to take something else on, drop something less important.

Setting yourself rules, standards, boundaries and systems are your best friends when it comes to being less busy.

Build contingency time into your schedule to allow for things taking longer than you thought.

Another powerful thing to do is to say “no” more often – to yourself and others. Saying yes to everything all the time is the same as saying no to being less busy!

Here are a few questions to ask yourself:

  • Who do I need to “be” to be less busy?
  • What do I need to change or do to be less busy?
  • What habits do I need to create?
  • What do I need to learn?
  • What standards, rules, boundaries and systems do I need to implement?

The key to getting on the path to being less busy is to decide it is time for change and commit to finding a way to make it so.

I am not saying it is an easy thing to do. But I am saying it is a totally worthwhile issue to address. Being less busy will transform your life, work and relationships in many ways and on many different levels.

Often it is the hardest things to change that are the most worthwhile to pursue.

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  • Katy Kozee

    I realized as I was reading this article that I’ve done a few of these things and my life is far better for it. I turned down a paying project recently that would have stressed me out because I wanted to focus on other priorities and I’m so glad I did. Ultimately, the amount of time and stress the project would have taken wouldn’t have been worth the money. Now it’s time to work on other areas of my life!

  • Hi Katy, good for you having such strong boundaries. I know it can feel hard to turn stuff down but when it protects what is most important it is so worth it. Wishing you well as you move forward working on the other areas of your life that you mentioned.