It’s hard to look around and NOT see messaging telling us we need to do more, be more productive, hustle, step up our game…. you get the picture. From social media personalities, to online gurus, to advertising, we’re force-fed how we’re supposed to live. Society measures our lives by how many items we cross off our to-do lists and how efficient we are at keeping all the plates spinning. We don’t have time to process one thing before we’re onto the next. Well, I’m tired of it.
Have you noticed how tiring it is to always be moving and doing? Our minds are on overload and multitasking even when our bodies are still. We’re frantic and overwhelmed and busy. God, do I hate being busy. Maybe it works for you, but is it really working? What ever happened to slowing down?
Joshua Becker of Becoming Minimalist just wrote a post called “Busyness is Laziness” and it resonated with me. He writes, “Being busy does not result in fulfillment and meaning. Being busy may mean more things are getting done… but they are often the wrong things. A busy life is an unexamined life. And an unexamined life is rarely worth living.”
Think about that.
He goes on to tell us about a college exercise that was extremely meaningful. “We were required to spend 1 hour per week, alone in a room with our thoughts. There was to be no music, no books, no meditation guides, no technology, no thought aids whatsoever, ” he writes. “Instead, we were to sit quietly and allow our minds to focus wherever our hearts took us. The practice was difficult at first, but eventually turned out to be one of the most significant assignments and practices of my entire college life.”
I think we can all use more of that. Maybe start with 10 minutes at first. Like a meditation practice. Time to just be still. Or, next time you’re in a waiting room, instead of passing the time by looking at your phone, just be present with your thoughts. Put away your headphones next time you walk somewhere. Turn off the radio in the car.
You know the saying “less is more?” Well it’s true. Except lately, it seems like we’re being told more is more — and it’s not.
If we’re always striving for more, then we’re never satisfied with where we are now in the present. To me, that seems like a backwards way to live. At the very least, we’ll miss out on what’s going on around us and wonder why we wasted our life being so busy. For what?
If we’re always told to be more, then how are we to square up with who we are and what we’re doing now?
I’m not advocating that we all sit on our butts and stare at the wall all day. Or that being lazy is the way to go and we should all do as little as possible for ourselves and those in our lives. Or that going after what you want and working hard is pointless. No, I’m not saying that at all. What I am saying is that there’s no shame in taking time to breathe, pare down, and just be. Work hard on what’s important to you and give it everything you have, but cut out the clutter that counts for nothing but stress, high blood pressure, and overwhelm.
Put your energy into what’s important and forget the rest. If you don’t know what’s important, take time to be still enough to figure it out.
Put the phone down. Stop multitasking. Stop rushing around for people and things that can surely wait or never mattered in the first place. Truly listen when someone is talking to you. Tune in to how you feel. And how you’re making them feel.
When I focus on being in the moment, I get better at being me. I know I’m a better wife, daughter, blogger, and friend when I’m not frazzled and going in 100 directions. When I have time to think, I’m a better version of myself. Trying to do all the things leaves very little time to think and reflect.
Society says we need to do more, but I’m in full favor of doing less. With less to focus on, we get more tuned in to what we do choose to focus on. What matters to you? What should have your attention?
Our best life isn’t a busy one where days pass us by and we hustle until the next vacation. All anyone wants is a good life and there’s nothing good about being too busy and distracted to live it.