You’ve got chores to do, bills to pay, mouths to feed, work to complete. And with all the things that keep you busy, you feel a bit overwhelmed by the sheer amount of it all.
In fact, when you say “I’m just so busy”, the sentiment is probably more accurately stated as “I’m just so overwhelmed right now.”
It’s easy to become overwhelmed too when we’re constantly pressured to perform a multitude of different things at once, from doing the dishes to showing up 9 to 5 to cooking meals, the list goes on and on.
Life seems like a constant jump from one obligation to another -- there’s always something to do and once something gets done, another takes its place shortly after. It’s a perpetual loop of doing things, doing more things...without ever feeling like you’ve really accomplished all that much.
In this success-driven corporate culture in which we live in, you better damn well make sure you’re busy too. Be busy! Get busy! Have a busy schedule! What’s that? You aren’t busy? Well you better get busy and make yourself busy because you wouldn’t wanna be busy not being busy!
There’s this arbitrary expectation in society to be busy all the time. If you’re not busy, then it’s like what are you doing with your life? You lazy son of a bitch.
Unless every single minute of your schedule isn’t filled with something ,then it's seen as an absolute waste of time.
But you know what? If enjoying life makes me lazy, then fuck it. I’m a lazy son of a bitch. I’ll take that “L”. Whatever, man.
See, the alternative to being busy all the time is...actually being happy. Now of course, we’re led to believe that money and fame are what brings happiness. But those are just numbers, arbitrary digits, and no true measure of happiness at all.
True happiness comes from within and isn’t found in anything materialistic. No amount of dollars is going to bring you fulfillment. No amount of popularity will bring you satisfaction.
The whole reason we try to make ourselves busy is because we’re sold this idea that our entire worth as a person comes down to our ability to perform. It’s this sort of “go hard or go home” mentality that pushes us to do a lot, rigorously. We strive for greatness because greatness is idolized in society.
We hold higher regard to those who “make it a success” than those who make it a happy fulfilling life. Celebrities, entrepreneurs -- they’re people who we worship, in a sense, due to their ability to “get down to it” and perform some sort of busy work that impresses us.
The people who hold such prominence in society are not the ones who find a path to happiness, rather a path to riches. And so, it is ingrained in our minds that if we too want to reach such prominence, then we must “get busy”.
Of course, we’d all like to hold some sort of high regard or prestigious position.
But that which is idolized is not necessarily that which is best.
Doing things to be busy to earn money and fame, while tempting to abide by, doesn't grant us happiness. In fact, it doesn’t even really allow us to live.
By chasing after materialistic things, and doing busy work to do so, we’re not living, we’re just existing. We’re going through the motions of being busy just for the sake of being busy. And at the end of the day (or end of our life for that matter) ,we’re left feeling utterly unfulfilled.
You may feel judge for sittin’ around doing nothing, but you know what, fellow procrastin8r, forget what anyone else thinks. Just be your own Dude.
Come to the shores of Lazy Island, where we have a different measure of success -- your ability to enjoy yourself, not work hard or be busy.
You’re either busy or you’re happy. Show me a busy man and I’ll show you someone who’s miserable with himself. Seriously, I have yet to hear someone utte the phrase “I’m just so busy” with excitement in their tone or a smile in their voice.
No one actually enjoys being busy. Yet..it’s just something we put ourselves through. Why? Well, we feel like we have to. And again, I say this all the time, but I can’t stress this enough: live a life of desire, not obligation.
Being busy is draining. It’s stressful. It’s hell to deal with. And ultimately just leaves you feeling exhausted. I mean why would you want to be busy? Why would you? It doesn’t do anything besides appease to some frivolous standard.
Maybe part of you fears saying “I hate being busy” because you’re afraid you’ll be shunned.
Look, man, if you don’t want to be busy, then be lazy. Don’t feel guilty about that shit either. Own it. Embrace your laziness.
Besides, the busier you are, the more shit you have to potentially worry about. Simplify your life. Focus on just a few things, rather than wearing yourself thin to do a bunch. Don’t make your life busy. Make your life easy.
We’re going to deep dive into how to stop being busy in today’s article. And without further ado, let’s dive...right into it.
Limit what you do.
There seems to be a never ending cycle of shit to do. Check one thing off your to-do list and three more items appear. You’re constantly pushing yourself to do more, get more be more, accomplish more.
But, as we talked about before, you should do LESS with more FOCUS.
Of course, we’re given sappy propaganda like “the sky is the limit”, insinuating that we must push beyond our means. But man, I tell you, it’s okay -- it’s absolutely OKAY to do things within your means, to do just enough.
You can set limits for yourself, contrary to popular belief. Doing so is healthy, doing so is sane. I mean, we’re only human. We have our limits. It’s okay to know yours and know when to put a stop to it.
There’s no sense entering berserk mode to rush in and attempt to do the impossible,
Only do things that either make you happy or bring you closer to your goals. That’s it. No need to sporadically fill up your to-do-list and book your schedule with tons of nonsensical things just for the sake of having something to do, just for the sake of “being busy.”
Shrink down the amount of tasks you set for yourself. Life is a buffet of possibilities and things you can do. Just don’t put more on your plate than you can eat.
I know it’s always encouraged to say “I can do it” and never back down. But, conversely, say “I can’t do it.” Back down occasionally when it’s too much for you to handle.
Certainly, you may think that it’s a weak thing to say you can’t do something, but that’s only due to your brainwashed beliefs that you must stretch beyond your means.
Look, there are things that, put bluntly, just aren’t freaking possible. You may not have the resources, time, or energy to achieve them. But recognizing that, will allow you to invest the resources, energy, and time you do have to do the things you can do, instead of on something you simply can’t.
Knowing your limitations and being able to say “I can’t do it” is mature. It’s practical. It takes more strength to know your weaknesses than it does to pretend you don’t have any.
Now indeed, there is a fine line between legitimately knowing your limits and limiting yourself. While the whole point I’ve been making here is that you don’t want to overestimate what you can do, in the same vein, you don’t want to underestimate what you can do either.
It’s a bit of a balancing act.
Yes, you have a limit. Yes, there are things you can’t do. But no, you shouldn’t let that discourage you from even trying.
You have to reach your limit before you know what it is. You have to eat enough to know when you’re full. Don’t starve yourself just because there’s the possibility you may overeat.
In other words, don’t let the fact that you have your limits prevent you from making any sort of attempt to make your goal happen. Besides, you can always eat your meal one bite at a time. You can always accomplish your goal one step at a time, leading us to our next point...
Slow it Down
Ya know, there’s this idea that you either “make it or break it.” That you gotta go NO HOLDS BARRED when it comes to goal achieving. Do it or get out.
You either go ALL THE WAY...or go home.
But man I tell you, there are steps in between your destination of “all the way” and home, where you started. There’s space between the start and finish line.
Part of the reason we feel “too busy” is because we’re attempting to accomplish BIG things in one shot. You’re overworking your body and overclocking your mind.
You’re rushing to get it done NOW and not wait ‘til later when you’re ready. In order to stop being so busy, you have to halt your own tendency to want to get it all done right away.
Accept that things take time. Be patient with yourself and your own ability to do things. Take the mindset of a true procrastin8r and say “eventually” rather than NOW.
Don’t bite off a bit more than you can chew. You can do everything slowly, one step at a time, even everyday tasks.
Take for example, doing the dishes. You don’t have to wash that whole pile in your sink. Just do a plate or two. And as for cleaning your room, break it up into sections. You can apply the same principle to pretty much any goal.
You see, you ain’t gotta do shit all in one go. Do it slow n’ steady. It wins the race.
Outsource your workload
There’s this idea that you gotta be a Jack of Trades, a self-made man, or otherwise a goddamn hero.
But man, it’s okay to delegate, to say to someone “hey, you do this.” Ya ain’t gotta be the sole warrior. Find people to do work for you. That’s laziness in a nutshell. That’s leadership in a nutshell.
Leadership is laziness.
In fact, guys like Elon Musk and Jeff Bezos, these multi-billionaires aren’t the ones working late night at the factory or warehouse. They aren’t the ones schlepping odd hours and doing the heavy lifting. No.
They’re sittin back, in their yachts, pouring a glass of fancy champagne, while their employees do the grunt work for them.
Outsource your work, the big “O” in C.O.U.C.H. Don’t make your life a big DIY project. Get other people to give you a helping hand. That’ll most certainly make you a lot less busy.
It’s okay to ask for help. We’re led to believe that’s the weak thing to do, that it makes you a wuss if you can’t handle everything yourself and need to rely on someone else.
We’re human. We’re social creatures. We do things collaboratively as a tribe. So get your tribe together and get them to help you tackle a tough task.
If a rock is too heavy to lift, find someone that’ll help you lift it. That’s a metaphor. In other words, if you’re experiencing a heavy burden, whether it's stress or emotional turmoil or flat out exhaustion, don’t hesitate to reach out to someone and ask if they have your back.
Maybe you need someone to watch your dog while you take a much needed vacation. Maybe you need someone to do some yard work because you recently got injured. Point is, there are certain situations where you’re not only going to want help, but you’re going to need it.
If they say no, when you explain to them what you’re going through and how much you would appreciate their help, well then I suppose asking can at least get you to identify who truly cares about you and who’s just along for the ride. (To clarify, them saying "no" is acceptable, just as long as it's not consistent, especially if you offer them favors)
Now of course, you don’t want to become too reliant on others either. You do need some independence, but there is a fine line between being independent and being alone.
You’re not alone, or at least, you don’t have to be. Don’t push others away because you’re too afraid to even ask for help. You don’t have to play single player mode here. It’s a multiplayer co-op mission.
It goes hand and hand too that when someone needs help, be willing to offer a hand, within reason of course -- there’s another fine line between being helpful and being a door mat, which leads us to the next point.
It’s a word you have to get into the habit of saying. You want to be able to say no to MOST things.
You may find yourself saying YES to a lot, and that’s a vital factor in determining just how “busy” you are. The more you say YES, the busier you become, and the more you say NO, well, you’ll just be less busy.
You shouldn’t people please. You shouldn’t agree to anything and everything just to make others, especially, ESPECIALLY, if they refuse to reciprocate the same level of helpfulness or agree-ability.
The amount of times you say YES to a person should be equal or less than the amount of times they say YES to you, never more.
Just because someone asks something of you, doesn’t mean it pouts you under any sort of obligation to say YES. If you don’t have the resources, time, or energy to do it, then say NO. If you simply don’t want to do it, then say NO. If you really would rather not deal with it at all, then say NO.
NO gives you the power to prevent a lot of “busyness” from piling up in your life, so if you want less things to do, say NO more often.
At that, you don't need any sort of excuse or explanation. Just say "no".
Ah, good ole Leisure, the big “L” in L.A.Z.Y.
You know often times, we multi-task during our free time. Rarely do we actually give ourselves real leisure. We’re doing things while we’re supposed to be resting, while we’re supposed to be taking our mind off things, while we’re supposed to be NOT busy.
We’ll be answering e-mails and phone calls while on vacation, paying bills online while watching Netflix, and preparing PowerPoint presentations while browsing Reddit. We’re so busy being busy that we don’t take the time to turn off our busyness.
You must put aside things you “have to” do in order to do things you “want to” do. Be lazy. Kick up your feet. Totally and completely relax. Really, man.
You’re not relaxing enough. You’re stressing yourself out over a million things that must get done and aren’t taking the time to just chill.
You don’t have to always be doing something. As a matter of fact, I encourage you to do nothing. Don’t do anything. Become your inner-sloth
Genuinely put aside all the things that keep you busy and be in your leisure, be in your lazy. You’ll find life to be, a lot more enjoyable to say the least, and that’s because you’re, well actually living it.
Focus on achieving, not doing
Quality over quantity. It’s better to do a few things well than it is to do a shoddy job at a plethora of things.
Minimize effort and maximize results -- that’s what laziness is at its core. Assure the efforts you put into something result into something worthwhile.
Don’t exert yourself more than you have to. Again, limit yourself on what you do. Do a little bit. Do just enough.
When you do actually get off your lazy ass, make the effort actually worth it. Every single task you undertake should be geared towards some type of achievement, or at the very least some type of (slow n’ steady) step towards an achievement.
Never should you exert effort just for the mere dear sake of exerting effort. The effort you invest should bring results (or progress towards results for that matter.)
And let me tell you, “being busy” is not an achievement or any sort of result. Getting shit done is.
You can wait ‘til last minute, just as long as shit gets done. No sense working tirelessly for hours upon hours to achieve jack diddly squat.
Heck, you’re better off doing nothing than spending time doing something that doesn’t lead you anywhere.
Make your effort count is what I’m saying. If you’re gonna get out of bed, which you know as a procrastin8r is hard enough to do, then make it actually worth it to do so.
Saying you’re busy is really saying you can’t Procrastinate with Purpose.
Look, if you’re oh so busy all the time, you can’t prioritize. Point blank.
Face it, you’re really not THAT busy. I mean you may be kind of busy, but c’mon now, to the point where you’re putting off things you enjoy? To the point where you’re avoiding family and friends because of all this busyness?
You know you’re not that busy, you just didn’t get done what needs to get done. I mean you got some things done, but you didn’t get done the essentials, and that’s what’s making you so quote on quote “busy”.
Prioritize. Get the essentials done first. Then go after the itty bitty shit, if you even have the energy or the time.
Look, Mr. Busy Beaver, you don’t know how to procrastinate properly. Procrastinating is the heart of time management. It’s being able to prioritize and know which things to put off…’til later.
By procrastinating one thing, you are in turn, choosing to do something immediately.
If you’re too busy, then what you’re really doing is procrastinating the wrong things. You must learn to procrastinate the right things.
“A good man will not waste himself upon mean and discreditable work or be busy merely for the sake of being busy.” - Seneca
Take it easy,