Sunday, September 29, 2013

You Aren't As Busy As You Think You Are

Busy is a state of mind, and can be controlled. My brain is prone to rattling off the long list of things I need to do, even as I write this.

So what? There will always be tons of things that need to be done. Don't they always get done, anyway? What good is telling myself and everyone around me how busy I am? Somehow, no matter how busy we think we are, things get taken care of.  And if they don't, it's not the end of the world.

I've been a college student most of my adult life. The current degree is an Online MBA in Accounting. Add this to a teenage daughter, training a Doberman puppy, running a small accounting business, working out every day, yoga practice, blah, blah blah. We all have this running list of shit we have going on.

While doing group work in this Master's level class, my classmates constantly use the excuse of how busy they are to make up for the crappy or late submission made to our work. 
Really? You are so busy? Don't you have the same 24 hours in a day that I do? Then why do I do enough work for the both of us?

Some interesting statistics:

-- Working parents, who are usually (and understandably) at the top of the list of people who claim to "have no time," spend only one hour less on leisure activities per day than do those without the same child-care concerns.
-- People making $100,000 or more spend far more time web surfing and consuming other media than do those making less.
-- Everyone (statistically speaking) watches at least 2-3 hours of TV per day. That's 10% of our 24 hour daily gift of time, and a much higher percentage if you measure it only against the time we're awake. 
-- People who earn $1,200 or more per week do not work more, on average, than those who earn $540 per week.
-- Self-employed people (which, of course, includes most of us who own businesses) do not work more hours, on average, than wage or salary workers.
Two to three hours of TV a DAY??!! Most people could do that thing they were bitching about not having time for in two to three hours a day, including MBA class work, exercise or answering an email. 
I was in this thought-trap in the Tax Season 2012. It was my first tax season and I was not yet a yogi. I was studying for my EA license and attempting an MBA course during the busiest time of my career. Somehow I still found a way to run or get some form of exercise, while  I was the busiest I'd ever been, working 12 hours a day. Even though I was getting all of these things done, I was miserable because I kept thinking about how busy I was. The actual work wasn't what was stressing me out; the thought if it was.
A few ways to be less busy:
Stop thinking about it and do it. You are fine; let go and quit worrying. If you stop this negative cycle of thoughts, you will actually get more done.
Prioritize. If you have all of these responsibilities, maybe several  hours of TV a night isn't a good idea. Do the thing that is the most important for today. The rest can wait.
Stop bitching. Saying you are too busy means that you will be.
I practice what I preach. I don't watch TV until all of my responsibilities are taken care of. I don't complain about how busy I am, and I am a highly productive, happy person. We all have the same 24 hours per day, and we all have the same ability to get shit done.

Just do it.

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