Wednesday, March 30, 2016

A Busy Life vs. A Full Life



I took a 10 day break from being in the office that just ended. During those 10 days I was able to enjoy travel, solitude, connecting with family, and planning for the future with my partner. In thinking about all of the things that I chose while I didn't have any other pressing obligations, my values became very clear. The thing that I missed the least was being busy. I had a very full 10 days but never once did I feel busy or rushed.

There are plenty of good articles out there about the disease of busy-ness or how exhaustion is an unhealthy badge of honor. We've all read these articles while nodding silently in agreement the whole time. Unfortunately, soon after reading them we sigh heavily and go back to running from task to task.

Change is tough and it's really important to make small changes over time so they stick. These are my processes of reflection and planning to make life feel less busy and more full instead.

1. Have something to look forward to everyday.

If you have a really horrendously busy day, counter balance it with at least one thing to look forward to. Maybe you will plan a dinner out with your partner at the end of the day. Or you could pack an extra special snack for between afternoon meetings. Knowing that you have something to look forward to keeps you going through the day.

2. See the big picture.

It's hard to work without a purpose. I like to dig deep and find perspective in order to make it though a hard day. Thinking about how all of the little details and difficult tasks get me one step closer to my goal is important.  

3.  Know when to say no.

There are things that we opt-in to when we know that we shouldn't. We often spread ourselves too thin in the name of protecting feelings and relationships. However, it's important to acknowledge your limits and establish boundaries. Having little boundaries conversations prevents resentment and protects your relationships by preventing big blow outs.

How do you make sure that your life is full instead of just endlessly busy?

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