The ‘Busy’ Trap is an outstanding personal essay that explores how busyness has become a badge of honor in the 21st century. Telling others, “I’m so busy” is a “boast disguised as a complaint”, claims author Tim Kreider.
Do you really want the busy badge in your collection? I want to throw mine away! I still get caught in the busy trap from time-to-time, but the balance is moving toward living with ease.
So how do you break away from this hard-pressed entrapment, which may be entangled with your sense of worthiness and positive self-esteem?
How can you step away from working 24/7, constantly promoting, skimming the net, or speeding along without feeling anxious, guilty, or ill at ease?
Here are the essential lessons I’m learning as I bounce between busyness and ease.
1. Shift Your Attitude. It all starts with the mind. Make a decision to align with ease instead of busy as a bee.
Notice how often you speak of busyness. What do you say? What’s the storyline? Write it out just to be clear. Veer away from talking about busyness.
Make a list of what brings you ease from the small (a one moment pause) to the sublime (two weeks in Bali). Then casually integrate these lightening activities one at a time. Begin to learn and speak the language of ease. “I felt so nourished after my 10-minute walk.” “A simple tea break brought me so much spaciousness and joy.”
Clear intention creates the momentum for ease.
2. Choose Simplicity. Eliminate excess. Gradually or radically. Physical excess: clutter and all the unnecessary material items that make your life look and feel like a permanent garage sale. Emotional excess: negative emotions, unhelpful habitual grooves, age-old personal stories. Mental excess: too many thoughts.
Contrary to popular assumption, you don’t need to think to solve problems. The best solutions arise when you are simply spacious, aware, and at ease.
Simplicity creates the environment of ease.
3. Embrace Mindfulness. Mindfulness is the way to interrupt the busyness parade. By being present in the moment you will be able to see when you are fraught with busyness and, thus, have the option to stop.
Pause. Yes, right now! Tune into your body, mind, and emotions. Are you at ease? Or, are you hunched over the computer, muscles clenched? Maybe, thinking about the 1,001 things on your to-do list? Or worried about x, y, and z?
Pause and breathe in some space.
Take a look into your mind and see what’s happening there. It may take a little time, but in simple mindfulness meditation, you can discover there really is space between thoughts. You can learn to allow all the internal commotion to slow down to the pace of a meandering stream. Thoughts may arise but they no longer pull you into the past and the future, hope and fear, agitation and worry and the unnecessary dramas we create in life.
Not over-thinking is the essence of ease.
My friend Tess Marshall says:
“Life is simple. We choose to complicate it. We have the power to live simple and happy lives by doing things just a little bit differently.”
A few last tips for shifting to living with ease:
- Start very small.
- Take one step at a time.
- Be present and enjoy the task at hand.
- Rejoice for every positive step you take.
Relax, release, ease!
Do you feel trapped by busyness? Do you agree with Tim Kreider that busyness is “a boast described as a complaint?”
Thank you for reading and sharing! If you enjoyed this article please subscribe for free updates by email. With love, Sandra
Photo: public domain