“Those who are wise won’t be busy, and those who are too busy can’t be wise.” ― Lin Yutang Wait, what? I'm not wise because I am too busy? I can't believe it! No one told me being too busy would make me dumber. Unbelievable. Not really though right? The more busy I am the more I find myself being forgetful and careless and getting sidetracked. I'm sure it goes that way for everyone to some extent. There are really two kinds of people in the world, those that are good at multitasking and those that are not. Isn't it so true! And I don't mean to say that not everyone can multitask to some extent but it does take practice. Is that something you can be proud of? I would say that most people are proud of the fact that they can multitask, especially if they are super good at it. But is that something that one can really be proud about?
I want to argue today that while being good at multitasking is not necessarily bad, the need to do so is. Why do we find the need to be such good multi tasking fools? I think it's because we are too busy. Too busy with school activities, too busy with home activities and too busy with work activities and too busy with life in general. I say it all the time and I know so many other people that do too. "I'm so tired." We all know this is code for: I run around too much. I need a break. I need one day to just sleep in until 12 noon. I need a vacation!
Unfortunately a lot of us cannot do that. Besides those people out there that literally can't stop working those three jobs so they can pay the bills or those college students that are working full time just to pay for college, there are a lot of people out there that make the choice to be busy. Me personally, I love to be busy. I don't necessarily love being in the car all day long some days or labeling somedays "take-out only" days, But I enjoy being busy with my kids and their activities. Love seeing them do certain things and have fun. I'm sure that is why a lot of parents take their kids to soccer practice or dance class or piano lessons or karate class right? To see their kids succeed in things that they are never able to do themselves. And of course to see their kids have fun. Why can't we just stop at one or two activities throughout the year? Why can't we ever say no to the extra activities the PTA has asked us to accomplish. There is always something extra that can be done. Why do we have to do it and how can we say no to it? When does it get to the point of damaging our mental status where it will hinder our ability to do every day jobs like loving our kids and just learning to watch them grow? Let's explore some ways for you to be able to lead a less full life. It's hard, but one eventually has to just say...
Just say no. If you have too much on your plate, then just say no. It's not your responsibility to take care of everyone else's needs all the time. Yeah it's very sweet to think that you want to take care of everyone yourself. You can do it! I know you can. But do you need to? "Can you paint this for me tonight so it's ready for the play tomorrow?" "Can you help me with my job?" "Can you do me a favor?" "Can you........." "Can you please......." It's never ending. I'm not saying cut out all volunteer work completely but man- pick and choose so you can leave not only a healthier life less busy, but a less complicated one. Just say no. It will be ok. Trust me. They will move on and get someone else - or not. Not much is life or death. You will know it when it is. ;)
2. Forget the extra curricular activities
Ok so not really ALL of them. But do you really need to be involved in baseball and piano and swimming lessons all at the same time? Let's just try for one thing a season huh? Trim down the fat y'all. You will be glad you did. Your house may even see you more often. And it won't get so lonely (or dirty). Why did you buy or rent your house- so you could spend as much time outside of it as possible?? Haha I doubt that. You have to realize that doing all these activities is a choice and not a necessity.
3. Stop bragging about being busy
I know I do it. I don't really do it to brag about myself really, but just to let people know I'm frustrated with my busy schedule. But I do it to myself which is silly. Learning how to not put people on a pedestal for being busy will help you in deciding that it's not worth it to be that busy. Look at it as negative thing and you probably won't want it as much. There will always be that mom that can do a tad better than you on things. Live with it. None of us have the same talents and strengths. It is what it is. We have to work together to stop this cycle.
4. Schedule your relaxation time
Make sure that throughout the day or the week that you are making time for yourself to relax. It's crazy that we as a society are so busy that we need to schedule time to be un-busy on our schedule. What's that all about? Andy Griffith sat on his front porch almost every night relaxing after his crazy days with Barney Fife. And he didn't have to take Opie to baseball practice. I'm pretty sure he walked himself. Well isn't that ideal. Around here, even if I did trust my kid to walk to practice, it would be impossible as it's a 15 minute drive just to get there in a car! Sheesh! That's not ok! But back to what I was talking about, take your time with things and make sure that you schedule your relaxation time!
5. Revisit your priorities (your kids)
You know that voice in your head that is telling you that you need to do this for your kids? I don't know. There is some truth to it. They usually enjoy some activities but once it crosses that line of you doing this for you (and not them) then it's time to stop! And these "priorities" will see a lot more of you if they weren't so busy all the time. As for you being too busy? If you have a hard time with #1 then you need to rethink who you are doing those extra projects for and decide if it's worth not spending time with your true priorities. Just sayin'
If you want to read more of my rants about being around more for your kids then please go ahead and read some of these other articles. Summer can't wait and neither will I and How to be present for your kids and not social media I know it's my opinion but I like them because I wrote them!
And don't forget that you contact me really easily and schedule your next session! I can't wait to talk with you about all of my opinions. It's fun to talk shop too! Let me know what you want and I can work on it!
Member of National Association of Child Photographers ￼
Member of Red Thread Sessions