The Art of Staying Busy the Right Way
By Donna Kostiew
I was on the phone one day with my mother and throughout the conversation she kept asking me “So, what else is new?” We had already talked about her grandchildren, the weather here, and the weather there, and after she had asked me yet again, I quickly realized I had nothing left to say. Yet I was so “busy” at that time. How could I not have anything more to talk about? Then it hit me. I was filling my life with things that took up my time but weren’t important enough to want to talk about. I needed to make a change.
Choose to be Busy with the Right Things
Each and every one of us experiences, at some point or another, a life so busy that we don’t even notice the time passing by. The days may very well have been long gone before we realize that it is time for another month to be ripped off the calendar. Life shouldn’t be like that. It’s important to take a more intentional approach to being present each and every day and to involve yourself in the activities that truly matter. Here are some suggestions on how to do so.
- Eliminate the automatic “yes” – Practicing the art of saying “no” when you can is helpful in managing time and stress. You shouldn’t feel obligated to say “yes” in every situation when someone asks for your time or help. So before you automatically give that answer, take a hard look at your priorities and decide if it is keeping you from spending time with your loved ones or getting other, more important things done. Determine whether you’re saying “yes” because you want to, or if you’re saying it out of sheer guilt.
- Set boundaries - Be explicitly clear about how much time you can commit to an activity or with helping out another person by letting them know upfront the number of hours you can offer. Then stick to it. Also, adhere to boundaries when you are at home during the evenings, weekends, or while on vacation. Stop work at a certain time and let the emails wait until morning if you can. Stay accountable to your loved ones when that time should be spent on them.
- Balance tasks with others – Share responsibilities with a friend or coworker to lighten each other’s loads. Take turns attending meetings or divvy up the carpooling. You would be surprised to see how much time this can save in your week.
- Maximize family time – Put the electronic devices away when it’s time for family. They aren’t needed at the dinner table, while playing games, and certainly not for holding a conversation. Set aside an hour before bedtime to reconnect and end the day together; on the flip side, choose one morning each week to have breakfast and start the day together. Setting rituals that work for your family will give everyone something to look forward to throughout the week.
Rather than focusing on what everyone else wants, focus more on what is important to you and your family and make a difference in the lives of your loved ones.
To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Gilbert, Ariz.