Are You A Busy Mum Just Like Me?
Are you a busy mum like me? Do you rush around feeling overwhelmed by the never-ending tto-do list?
Now be honest with me! Are you a busy person? Do you constantly apologise for not getting through your To Do list, because you are so super busy?
“Busy,” seems to be a chronic epidemic with everyone lately. The answering of the question, “How are you?” with the words, “Busy!” is crazy right?! But it is just what we mums do. We are busy!
In the 90’s work exploded into the 24/7 STRESS monster it is today. And EVERYBODY was stressed. Kids were stressed. Mums were stressed. Dads were stressed. Everybody was stressed. Boy, I am even feeling stressed writing about how everybody else was stressed!
So lucky for us here in the 2000’s, we no longer have to worry about stress! Now all we have to worry about is being busy!
What is busy anyway? As an expert in behavioural strategy, I know that busy is both a mental state of being AND a physical state of doing. I will save the second physical state for the next piece! Let’s not get too stressed about being busy shall we! (wink)
Being mentally busy, in my experience as a Personal Strategic Intervention Coach, happens when you have so many items filling your head that you have taken on sole responsibility for. My clients report feelings of being scattered, frustrated, unfocussed, anxious, overwhelmed and feeling continuously rushed. One client told me, “It’s like I just can’t stop because I have this mountain on top of me, and if I stop, the mountain will crush me.” I call the mountain of pressure the BusyMonster because it seems to take on a life of it’s own.
Wow. That is a pretty overwhelming feeling! And then you have well intentioned people suggest things that sound so trite, and often add to the feeling of the mountain of tasks on top of you. They suggest things like, “just slow down” and “do one thing at a time”, and my personal favourite, “Just write it all down in a list”. I mean come on! Really! My BusyMonster screams,
“Did you not hear me when I clearly stated, that if I slow down or stop, then I will be crushed by that mountain!!!! Honestly!!! (Insert eye roll here)”
Busyness is a more complex monster than just “slow down”. It is a whole strategy unto itself. As people, we load our To Do List with more tasks than we can reasonably handle. Why do we do this? We do this because busy people are important. Busy people have a purpose. Busy people are valuable people.
Why is knowing this important? So what if you are busy? Why is this a problem? Well it is only a problem if being busy, stops you from enjoying the “getting it done” aspect of your list. The BusyMonster can steal your joy. We gain pleasure through accomplishment of our tasks. We feel good when we complete that job, especially if the job involves connecting to, or is in service to someone we love. I love story time with my children. The times when I don’t enjoy it is when my Busy Monster is out of control and my To Do list overwhelms me.
So how do you reign in the BusyMonster? Without sounding trite…(no I am not going to tell you to slow down) it honestly is a personal strategy for everyone. Our strategies are always individually created and that is why no, ONE corrective strategy works for everyone. Just like diets. They have to be tailored to the individual person. So I cannot tell you how YOU can reign in your busy monster, that would take a 1:1 session.
What I can do is generate some greater clarity around YOUR busy monster by asking you the following questions.
- How do you feel when you are too busy?
- What are you missing out on when you are too busy?
- What are those around you missing out on when you are too busy?
- How do you feel inside yourself when you are too busy? Are you happy?
- How do you feel when you are less busy? Does that make you happy?
- What is one thing you can do right now to create a change in the way that you feel?
- Can you do that one thing, more often?
Another strategy that may help is included in a previous piece I wrote about expanding the timeline called Now and Never Thinking. It may also help reign in your BusyMonster by taking out the timeline pressure.
By generating more awareness around your own busy monster, you can begin to reign it in. Let’s be honest here. When you are super busy, you are not happy! You do not enjoy the moments of completion, because your list is never completed.
I don’t know about you, but I enjoy being happily busy. Busy enough to stay engaged, but not so busy that you are overwhelmed. Happily busy makes you feel happy because you can enjoy the action of doing.