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Knowing When You're Too Busy & What To Do About it


Most of us would feel very strange if we were not busy. We might find ourselves listening for sounds if things became too quiet. Instead, we spin along, moving with the day and, often keep right on going into the evenings with friends and off with the family on the weekends.

But sometimes we get so busy we do not even realize we are running to catch up.

We may suspect we are too busy when we get odd looks from our family or catch our friends staring at us. Before things get crazier, and more obvious, do a self check.

Lifehack suggests asking yourself how much you see your family. If dinners with family and weekends in the park have shrunk, or almost disappeared, stop, and start fixing them now. Put your family back into your life. If that seems difficult, think about bigger things that could happen, like finding your spouse has become a stranger, or your kids are way into problems that you know nothing about.

Other warning signs can be losing your joy in your work, as daily tasks just become more things to finish, or getting up in the morning and , and just half hearing conversations as your mind keeps jumping forward to the next task.

You may also find yourself feeling less connected with friends, as you keep losing the time to meet for coffee or do a dinner. Start fixing that. Reach out to a close friend and have coffee to talk about how you are feeling. Most people have been there and can help you sort through the overloaded picture to get back on track.

When someone mentions vacation, you just nod and think “must be nice,” finding it hard to see when you would be taking one. Fix that by putting a big spot on the calendar called ‘vacation plan’ then either make it an actual one you get to do, or at least one that sets the stage for whatever getaway time you are going to take.

You may also find yourself losing your usual sharp focus in meetings and major projects. What seemed like a snap before now tends to be just too much. When that focus starts to drift, grab hold of one aspect and really look at it. Think about why this was fun before and how it can be again.

You may also feel just terribly tired, when you get up in the morning, after lunch as you review tasks left to do, or after work when you just feel like going home and collapsing.

If there are physical signs, see your doctor and check them out. But if you suspect you are just overloaded to the point of exhaustion, start setting aside one hour a day to do something you absolutely enjoy and never have time for. Getting your smile back and looking forward to that time could help you refocus everything as you rethink your schedule, prune your schedule and just put yourself back in charge.

Whatever you do, don’t just keep plodding ahead – you, your family and your job all deserve better.


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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of Jeffrey Zeldman

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