7 Reasons to
Become Unbusy

7 Reasons to Become Unbusy

When asking someone how they are doing, the answer used to be ‘Fine’. Nowadays everybody answers ‘Busy’. Busy seems to have become the default state of being for many of us. Busy seems to be the new happy.

We often connect busyness to success, as in ‘I am busy’ equals ‘I am important’. Busyness is impressive. It puts you in the heat of the action. It gives you an elevated sense of importance and being urgently needed. You’re always late for social engagements, barely have enough time for family get-togethers, and hardly get a moment of sleep. Emails get exchanged, meetings fill up your schedule, worldwide teleconferences become the norm. You’re like a rock star, but without the music.

A common mistake is the believe that we must beat time. This is the wrong way of looking at it. Doing more or taking on too much, in the same space of time, doesn’t equal getting things done. As Tim Ferris once said: ‘Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.’ Because when you are busy you can turn your brain off. You’re on the treadmill and you will stay in the ratrace.

Busyness is all too often about misplaced priorities. Think about what’s important to you and think about the work you’re doing. Is it moving the ball forward? Is it moving your ball forward? The ball that you care about? Revisit your priorities. And schedule your time around those first.

Here are seven reasons why to become unbusy:

 
#1
Because it is okay not to be busy

It is time to stop the glorification of busy. Busy, in and of itself, is not a badge of honor. In fact, directed at the wrong pursuits, it is actually a limiting factor to your full potential. It is okay to not be busy. Repeat out loud: ‘It is okay to not be busy!’

 
#2
Because you’ll see more opportunities

Opportunities are everywhere. They come up in coffee shops, via social media like Twitter or Facebook, and through mutual connections. When you’re busy, you often miss opportunities because you only see them as distractions, not spaces for you to grow and advance.

 
#3
Because you will find space in your daily routine

Take time for lunch. Find space in your morning to sit quietly before starting your day. Invest in solitude, meditation, or yoga. Find opportunity for breaks at work in between projects. Begin right away cultivating little moments of space and margin in your otherwise busy day.

 
#4
Because you’ll find out that happiness leads to success

Not the other way around. Your brain works significantly better at positive than at negative, neutral or stressed. Happy people like to try new things and challenge themselves, and these actions will lead to success in work, health and relationship.

 
#5
Because you will have time to invest in yourself

You are the most important company you’ll ever work for. It is important to keep growing and expanding. The internet has become the new library and a new source of inspiration. Ted Talks, Khan Academy, and thousands of other sources are there for you to take advantage of. It doesn’t have to be ‘traditional’ learning either. Taking time to invest in a hobby or side project can help you to be unbusy.

 
#6
Because you will find freedom in the word ‘NO’

Learning to say ‘NO’ to less important commitments opens your life to pursue the most important. Saying no allows you to try new things. Saying no gives you time to pursue other interests. And when you say no, you open the door for someone else to step up.

 
#7
Because you will love and care for yourself again

Self-love should be non-negotiable in your life. It should be a part of how you remain successful. Taking a vacation or a day off isn’t being lazy or neglecting your responsibilities: it’s a part of remaining in shape holistically, in mind, body, and spirit.

 
Busy does not need to define you. Unbusy is possible. It’s okay to be happy with a calm life. And doesn’t that sound wonderful right about now?

 

 
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Mirjam Stoffels

Founder of seven2success, author of ‘Daily Little Secrets to Success’ and guest blogger at TEDxRoermond, Project Eve and 365 dagen succesvol. In my mission to make seven2success the biggest platform of knowledge and inspiration for women, I want to inspire you with our content! Follow us on Facebook and Twitter! Let’s to connect! And do you want to inspire other women? Write for us!

 
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