Deconstructing the “I am busy” state of being: Tips to work on restlessness

Somewhere along the way, we lost touch with what it’s like to feel the joys of “dolce far niente.” Being busy has become our default state of being. But how is this damaging us?

Are you able to fully enjoy yourself without actually doing anything productive? Can you spend a few days reflecting and getting more in touch with your pets, plants, and friends? If you are, then lucky you! Seems like most of us will start feeling anxious if we spend days doing nothing particular because we get so caught up in producing something all the time – that we forget we need to recharge our batteries every once in a while.

Being busy has become some sort of a badge of honor. We wear it upon each social interaction and never forget to get it off. When we ask each other how we’re doing and if we can manage to meet up soon, the reply is automatic: I’ll try, but I am overloaded and busy. Then the days go by, and we never really call up that friend or take some time to rest. Until burnout kicks in. The challenge is to identify when you have overused the word busy and take some steps to take care of yourself more relaxedly. Here are some ways you can do just that.


Re-define the word productive

What does being productive even mean, and who asks us to be productive 24/7? Yes, I understand that you may want to show your skills off to your employees. But seek productivity from 9:00 to 17:00. After 17:00, define productivity by noticing what makes your body and mind feel at ease. Try to leave your electronic devices away, and de-sync your work email from your devices too. This is quite important in becoming more self-aware about your well-being.

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Make sure to schedule time for resting rituals

I’m not sure what your schedule is, but if you don’t manage to make time for yourself, this is quite a red flag already. Out of seven days a week, make sure you have three mornings or three evenings just so that you can take a walk, listen to some nice music, take a long bath, do some yoga, or whatever rituals you prefer, which lead to you being more mindful. These rituals may define you in the long run and help you become a better, healthier version of yourself.


Prioritize among your tasks

Not all things are urgent, and not everything can be done simultaneously. Prioritize your tasks, chores, and activities. Select them and see which ones can be postponed for later and which ones need to be conducted more urgently. Do not overwhelm yourself with completing all of them simultaneously, thinking that you will have more free time when you will actually use that free time to do more work, no?


Choose socializing overworking, anytime (well, most of the time)

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Nebojsa Tatomirov/Shutterstock

I know this is easier said than done, but tasks and house chores are not as important as your friends are. They can all wait, whereas your friends may need you more often than you think. You need them more often than you think to boost your level of serotonin. Whenever your first instinct is to deny an invitation from a friend, think twice, and give in. You may end up being able to get back to work, feeling even more refreshed, after a little bit of socializing.


Photo: aslysun/Shutterstock


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