“What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.
No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.
No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.
No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.
No time to turn at Beauty’s glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.
No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.
A poor life this if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.” ~ William Henry Davies
If you live in a city, you probably would have heard a lot of people say how busy they are. Most of the times the response to a question, “how are you doing,” will be, “I’ve been very busy, super busy, life’s been hectic.” Most of the people I know are busy and am sure you do too.
We feel proud that our day is planned and we are keeping ourselves busy with endless activities, meetings, shopping etc etc. In running the rat race, trying to keep up with deadlines, attending meetings, working on week ends, answering work calls late in the night, we forget what its like to sit idle doing absolutely nothing.
Busyness is an addiction and we might not know what to do in its absence. We have this impression that if a person is busy, he or she must be doing something substantial or important. But is this really the case?
Studies indicate that multi-tasking often results in taking longer to get your projects completed — and that the quality isn’t as high as it could be if you focused on one thing at a time.
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” ~ Socrates
It goes against conventional wisdom but busyness is an illusion. Its like putting on blinkers and running the race, and the world goes by hidden from your sight. We forget that sitting idle is not a sickness and that we don’t need to be doing something all the time.
Here are six reasons that manifest busyness and emphasizes the need to slow down –
1) Don’t get the time to connect with yourself
We all have our routine to get through, things which we do or are expected to do on a daily basis. Amidst all the chaos that surrounds you, do you make the time to spend ONLY with yourself? Use the time to do whatever your heart desires, introspect, paint, draw, cook, dance or enjoy solitude.
We need to do things we enjoy without following any agenda, other than having fun! We need to disconnect to be able to reconnect with ourselves to get a better perspective on life. We can all use a fresh approach and perspective!
2) Find it difficult to stay in the present moment
“Busy is a drug that a lot of people are addicted to.” ~ Rob Bell.
Do you find your mind wandering often when you are eating? Are you staring at your phone most of the time in the presence of others? Being busy takes away the ability to stay in the present moment, to be mindful in your day-to-day activities. Its like a wandering mind, always hopping from one activity to another, without getting the chance to actually enjoy what you are doing.
Slow down, close your eyes and take few deep breaths. Focusing on your breath is an effective way to bring the mind to the present moment.
3) Family & friends take a back seat
At the end of a tiring day we all need that warm hug or a loving shoulder to put our head on. But with a busy lifestyle, family, friends and loved ones take a back seat. There is no time or will to meet them.
“Don’t get so busy making a living that you forget to make a life.” ~ Dolly Parton
Fortunately, our work gives us the flexibility to meet friends or loved ones but most of them have packed schedules during the week and weekends are possible, only if we inform them in advance.
4) You fall sick often
“Take care of your body. It’s the only place you have to live.” ~ Jim Rohn
When we are stressed, our body’s defenses are down and it becomes easier to catch an infection or fall sick. Stress equates to an unhealthy body and mind. When you fall sick often, it’s your body telling you to slow down and put your feet up.
The first thing to ask your self is whether you are eating the right kind of food? When you are faced with loads of work or if you are constantly on the move, your body needs energy to keep up, and binging on unhealthy food certainly doesn’t help.
Here are few ways to start eating mindfully.
5) You don’t know the reason why you are doing what you are doing
When things are moving too fast around you and you struggle to keep up, what are the thoughts that cross your mind? Do you repeatedly question yourself why are you doing this?
May be it’s for the money, career, lifestyle or to pay off that crippling loan or whatever reason it may be, when you find yourself doing things you don’t want to do, then perhaps it’s time to move on. Its time to tread new paths, explore new horizons, shift your perspective.
When you don’t enjoy what you are doing, not only will your productivity drop, but you also don’t tend to experience that inner satisfaction of finishing a task. Instead you dread the routine and that attitude rubs off in your daily life and the other chores you do through the day.
Life is too short to waste it grinding away at a job you don’t love, or going through the motions at a job you like but aren’t appreciated at.
6) You think you have time
Don’t we all assume that we have lots of time in our life? One of the top five regrets of the dying was “I wish I hadn’t worked so hard.” You don’t want to end up like that on your death bed.
Do what makes your heart sing and enriches your soul. Travel. Dance. Paint. Do Yoga. Meditate. Stop procrastinating. Stop putting off things you ‘want’ to do for the things you ‘have’ to do. Get your creative juices flowing and always keep time aside for yourself.
I am not saying that you can’t be busy doing the things you love or working at a job you like, but don’t allow it to reach a state where you suffer in the different aspects of your life. Life is too short to be wasted being busy. By filling up every moment you are missing the opportunity to live life!