Why busy life is actually a GOOD life, and five more myths about being busy


Why busy life is actually a GOOD life, and five more myths about being busy


Let’s talk busyness. I bet you heard many times that having a busy life is bad and that you need to stop being busy. Well, today I am going to break this myth, along with five more.

I admit that I live a very busy life. In fact, when my daughter was born I had the luxury to take 2 full years off from my corporate job (not paid, but still). But after 6 months of staying at home with her, I was getting very ready to get out of the house and do something. It led me to starting my photography business – yeah, I actually worked as a professional newborn and family photographer for a while!

(I ended up coming back to my corporate job, but that’s a completely different story.)

My point is – I am not the type of person who can sit and do nothing. I always like to do things. I like being busy. And I am pretty sure that if you are reading this blog post, you do too. And I am also sure that you’ve heard many times that being busy is not good, that you should be less busy.

And so today I want to break a few myths about being busy.

Myth #1: Being busy = BAD

Well, this is the main one.

How many times have you heard that? I have heard that many times, I have probably even said that many times! I said to myself too many times that I am too busy, that I don’t want to be busy, that I need to be less busy.

But then a realization came to me – that busyness itself is NOT bad.

Actually, being busy is GOOD. And here is why:

It means that you are passionate about something.
It means that you care about something.
It means that you are living a full, sophisticated, multifaceted life.
It means that your life is exciting and that it has a lot of flavors to it.

And we call that BAD??

So being busy by itself is NOT a problem.

Here you might say, “Yes, but busyness means stress and overwhelm.” Which leads me to…

Myth #2: Being busy causes stress and overwhelm

For many of us, yes it does. But again, I think the problem is NOT in being busy itself.

The problem is that you’re trying to get everything done. And that is an impossible task. Trying to get done everything that comes your way is simply not possible. When you try to do, then you end up having a million items on your to-do list, and you look at this list and have no idea how to tackle it all.

So how can we get around it, you ask?

Instead of trying to get EVERYTHING done, start getting the RIGHT things done.

Things that matter.
Things that are important.
Things that are a true priority.
Things that are essential.

Instead of seeing everything as equally important, seeing everything as a priority, you need to learn how to filter things out, how to prioritize things, and how to pick the ones that you really need to focus on.

And once you start doing that, you immediately begin to feel more fulfilled. Yes you are still staying busy, you are not stressed anymore because you know how much capacity you have and you fill it with only things that matter.

Myth #3: If you are busy you don’t know how to relax

I used to struggle with this. I already told you a story about when my daughter was born – I was getting itchy about going and doing something. I wasn’t enjoying being a stay-at-home mom. And I didn’t really know how to relax.

But here’s the paradox:

Once you normalize your relationship with your busyness, once you accept that side of yourself, then it actually becomes easier to relax.

I know it sounds counterintuitive, but it all comes down to self-acceptance.

Once we learn how to accept one part of ourselves, it gets easier to accept other parts of ourselves too.

It is usually when you feel guilty for being busy, that you then feel guilty for not being busy.

But once you actually accept your life the way it is, once you begin to appreciate the beauty and complexity of your life and begin to enjoy it, in the same way you begin to enjoy the moments of slowing down, the moments of relaxation.

There is no judgment anymore.

So it all comes down to accepting who you are and embracing it instead of trying to fight it.

I bet you that if you struggle to relax, you probably fight yourself too much. You are likely being too hard on yourself. But instead of trying to fix something about yourself, embrace it.

See it as an advantage instead of a drawback.

Myth #4: Busy life means no work-life balance

This myth tells us that if we are busy it means that we focus on just one area of our life and neglect all other areas.

It is a common problem. When we fixate too much on one part of our life and when things go sideways in this area, we immediately feel like our whole life is falling apart apart.

If you experience this, chance is high that you don’t fully understand what your complete life landscape looks like.

What parts does your life consist of?

For example, there is work or business, but there is also family, there are friends, there are hobbies. And if work gets stressful, you have all these other areas to lean into to recharge, to regain energy. But in order to do that, you need to have a holistic picture of your whole life – you need your life map.

Having a life map also helps balance it all.

Because, of course, you cannot be doing two things at the same time. You can either be working, or spending time with your family (let’s try to avoid situations when you are trying to do both at the same time, unsuccessfully).

But when have your life map, when you know when there is work and there is family, you will never let either of these areas get forgotten.

Myth #5: Being busy means you don’t know how to say “no”

Here’s another one: when you’re busy, you say “yes” to everything.

Yes, again, struggle with this. We have a hard time saying “no”, and as a result we end up having a pile of tasks on our todo list (hello stress and overwhelm!).

But you can learn to say “yes” to the RIGHT things!

When you do that, you fill your life with things that bring you meaning, fulfillment, satisfaction –things that make your life much more exciting.

Notice, you are still staying busy. The busyness hasn’t gone away, but you filled it with things that are important, that matter most, that are the most essential.

And the beauty of that is once you start saying “no” to things that are nonessential, you free up the capacity to say “yes” to things that are.

We often want to stay in a safe place. We are afraid to take a leap. That’s why we keep a job that we hate, or we stay in a relationship that is not fulfilling. We tell ourselves, “I will wait for a better opportunity / relationship to come, and in the meantime I’ll stay where I am.

But what we don’t recognize is that sometimes we have to take that leap in order for those opportunities to come.

We need to close one door in order to open another.

New opportunities, the things that are truly important, the really essential things, they need space to come in to. And as long as you are keeping those nonessential things in your life, you won’t ever see an opportunity that is essential!

But once you start to free up your capacity, once you start saying “no” to things that are not important, a true miracle happens:

You begin to attract the most amazing things that you didn’t even know existed. Because they were there waiting for you to free up space for them.

Myth #6: Busy life means chaos

We have all seen those memes where crazy-looking women are pulling their hair out trying to deal with kids, and work, and everything. It feels that busy life means complete absence of any structure, any schedule, and it’s a complete chaos and constant disaster.

Then, on the other side of the spectrum, we have an idea of ideal life that is fully structured – everything is planned and everything is always in order.

But here is the problem. That ideal life picture is unrealistic. Let’s be honest, our lives are very dynamic. The world around us is very dynamic, it’s constantly changing. Things are constantly evolving. We don’t live in a vacuum, we live around other people, we live in a place where environment is changing, and different circumstances happen.

It is impossible to create a static structure and expect that you will be able to follow this structure 100% of the time.

So how do we address this problem?

By staying flexible.

By being ready for change, being ready to respond to change, and embracing the change knowing that the change is going to happen, and knowing that the change is good.

Because it is what makes our life so interesting and exciting! Imagine having a plan for every minute of your life, and all you do every day is wake up and follow this plan. That is so boring!

Instead, the beauty of our life is that it is changing. Sometimes you go around the corner and you don’t know what’s waiting for you there, right? And it is what makes it worth living.

Embrace it rather than fighting it.

Give yourself permission to be flexible. Give yourself permission to do today what you feel like doing today.

Yes, you should definitely have a vision. You should know what kind of life you want to build for yourself. But your vision should NOT dictate your day-to-day decisions. You should still have freedom to act today in accordance with today’s priorities, needs and circumstances.

As long as you have vision, as long as you check in with it regularly, you will still be moving in the right direction. And you don’t need a plan for that. You don’t need perfect structure. All you need is to allow yourself to be flexible and to embrace the change.

As well as embrace the strengths that you have that will allow you to continue living your sophisticated, multifaceted, exciting life.

I strongly believe that it is a privilege to be living a busy life and to be experiencing everything that it has to offer. And I would not want to exchange my life for anybody else’s.

How about you?

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