26.11.12

Minimalist Monday: Busy Bee or Lazy Lion?

Are you a busy bee? Can you spare just a few minutes to read this... 

Most of us are busy a lot of the time. We run multifaceted lives and have many compartments in our lives that we have to keep going: partner, children, parents, friends, pets, job, voluntary work, church, exercise and hobbies.


Now, I love being busy - I like the satisfaction of a hard days work, I like the adrenalin rush of a deadline, I like spending time with my family and friends and it's fun to have interests and hobbies that you can lose yourself in. 

But I don't like feeling like I'm a hamster on a wheel or some washing stuck in a never ending cycle. I don't like... feeling that if I STOP everything will come tumbling down... ON ME. 


Being busy can be fun and useful if it leads to greater productivity. But is it always a good thing? 


Do we have to be so busy?


Some of us use busyness as a way of impressing others. Others are busy because it has become a habit - no sooner has one task been completed that they're rushing to the next. We may use busyness as a way of avoiding time alone. It's possible that many people choose to be busy because they like to feel in control; some people are frightened of delegating to others because they like everything done their way and to their high standards. Some of us believe that being busy is good because it's a way of showing how much we love and care for others and the more we do the more we'll be loved and appreciated.


Who is benefiting from our busyness?


If you are busy for the sake of it then you're not really being productive. Busyness can become addictive and dangerous if you don't ever give yourself time off. You need time to recharge in order to feel refreshed and able to tackle new challenges. Being over committed can lead to stress induced illnesses.


What's so wrong with being lazy?


To be honest I don't feel comfortable with the idea of being lazy. I don't like the connotations of the word. Who wants to be thought of as idle, slothful or lacking in motivation? 


But being lazy may be actually good for you in moderation, just as being busy some of the time can be useful. Can we do anything well if we're always trying to do too much? Can we really be productive for hours on end? Do we spread ourselves too thin? We might achieve more if we focused on doing less but doing it better in set time limits.


If you choose laziness over busyness you may feel calmer, more content, relaxed and happy.



Suffering from busyness burnout? Want to relax more and get more done? Want to find ways to save time, energy and stress? Here's how...

Baby steps 

  • Stop thinking of laziness as a vice. Equally busyness isn't always a virtue.
  • Plan downtime - it's OK to have a lie-in or a pyjama day, read a book or magazine or even chat away for hours without watching the clock.
  • Work to achieve balance in your life. What would you like more time for? What would you like to spend less time on? 
  • Make time to do less. Doing nothing and letting your mind wander can refresh and relax your body and mind.
  • Delegate more - at work and at home.
  • Lower your standards - you don't have to be perfect all of the time, neither do your loved ones. Your home doesn't have to perfect either.
  • Prioritise - no matter what anyone says you can't do it all. Take time to consider how you use your time. Which tasks can wait? Keep your to do list short and regularly review it.
  • Stay at home more. Are you always on the run? In and out of the house like a fiddler's elbow? Make your home a haven. If it doesn't feel like a relaxing place, take steps to gradually declutter. Owning less will be easier to manage and maintain. A calm environment will help you relax.
  • Listen to your body. Stop running on auto-pilot. If you're feeling physically tired or emotionally fraught have an early night, a bath or a massage if it's what you need.
  • Be organised. Plan ahead for known events like birthdays and Christmas. Last minute panics are no fun for anyone.
  • Create routines. Establish ways of dealing with weekly and daily tasks. You don't have to be regimented but doing certain tasks like shopping or cleaning at a regular time will help you to feel more in control. 
  • Be spontaneous. There's nothing wrong with being self-indulgent. Do what you feel like doing: visit a friend; go to the cinema in the afternoon; treat yourself to a takeaway once in a while. Don't over schedule - if you don't leave space in your diary you won't be able to accept an impromptu invitation when one arises.
  • Spend time with others. Relationships can create so much happiness but you do have to work at them. Don't neglect your friends or family too much. Your job can overtake your life if you let it - you need time to unwind and a good way to do this is by being with friends. 
  • Get outside more. Being out in the open or in a different place can shift your perspective on problems.
  • Go with the flow. Things don't always go to plan do they? Accept setbacks, learn from them, move on. Moaning wastes time and can be draining.
And finally ...

Smile more. No matter how stressful your day or busy your schedule don't forget to smile and laugh, it may help you and others to get through the day.


Remember take your work seriously but not yourself!


Thank you for taking time to read this. How do you find balance in your life? 

I 'd love to hear from you whether you're a busy bee or a lazy lion.

Have a great week xo


Poster from here via Pinterest




8 comments :

  1. This is really interesting. I am definitely a busy bee. I think partly that is because I am at home full time so I never want anyone to think i have it easy, so I throw myself into making, volunteering, cooking, all sorts. I do like to feel that I am being productive. I love to tick tasks off a list. I don't like the word lazy, but if being lazy means watching tv with a cup of tea in the evening then yes I am. But I wouldn't call that lazy, I would call that a well earned rest. I think I have to earn my right to be lazy!

    I love that print, very nice!

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  2. exchange the word laziness for beingness which is our true heritage on this earth.

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  3. I love the feeling of rushing around, being swept away with life, but I also now know that I need stillness and to anchor myself too. I know the warning signs... my brain starts to whirl, lots of fast thoughts and then I start developing little anxious habits like getting in the car and then going back indoors to check the grill is off, wood burner door is shut, dog's got water etc... then I KNOW it's time to slow right down. It's good to know when being busy is becoming less exciting and fun and more stressy and messy!

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  4. yes being busy can be a good way of avoiding how we are feeling! Heather x

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  5. My left eye has been twitching for 2 weeks now because I have got too much on. I hate it! I always seem to have a day in the future that I think I can do nothing on, but that day never comes! Must make time! Xx reading blogs is my tiny snatch of freedom!!

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  6. Goodness what a great post! I've just been nodding my head all the way through it. I am guilty of feeling guilty if I'm not 'doing' something useful during the day. Now I'm asking myself why that is. I feel I have to have something to show, to prove I haven't been sat around all day looking at blogs!! I often get the feeling that everything is catching up with me and one day will run me down flat. I have a lot of thinking to do....must get the tea done, dust around and vacuum the floors first though!

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  7. Hmmm - I've had one of those drifty days too. Your no.5 follower btw xo

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  8. I am a recovering Busy Bee, and I am so glad I was able to quit the rat race! What did it for me was sailing--spending hours doing nothing but talking to my loved ones and paying attention to the world around us (because our lives actually depended on our attention to the world!). It really helped us all to reach a new level of calm.

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Thanks for reading and leaving your comments. Keep in touch xo