Busyness has become more pervasive than clutter in complicating our lives. We have plenty of decluttering strategies, but what should we do about our busy lives? I’d like to suggest a busy boycott. You might not think you have time for a revolution right now, but if you ever want time for a life that matters, this is the right time to uprise.
Try the following twenty-one-day challenge and practice each of these simple steps for 7 days each.
#1 STOP TALKING ABOUT IT. (DAYS ONE – SEVEN)
For all that is good and holy, let’s stop telling each other how busy we are. Perhaps, if we can physically remove the word busy from the conversation, we can stop thinking about it so much. When you tell someone how busy you are, you remind yourself too. You might fell busier than you actually are. Not only that, but often ‘I’m so busy‘ comes across as ‘I’m too busy for you’.
For the next seven days, ban the word busy from your vocabulary. This may be more challenging than you think. When you catch yourself mid-sentence using the word busy, use it as an opportunity to change your response and the conversation.
Tip: Avoid hearing the word busy by asking better questions. Instead of ‘How are you?’ try ‘ What made you smile today? ‘ My brother always asks me, ‘Did anything interesting happened today?’ By changing the questions and conversations, you open up space for connection.
#2 DO LESS. (DAY EIGHT – FOURTEEN)
Instead of searching for more efficient ways to do it all, do less. Say no, and protect your time for what matters most to you. Work with people who want your best, not your busiest. Stop comparing your lists, your life, and your love. Every day for the next seven days, eliminate one thing from your calendar to-do list. Don’t postpone it, let it go. If you are really worried about missing something, write it down and put it in an envelope. If you don’t miss it or even remember it at the end of the week, toss the envelope.
Tip: Know your strengths. What do you do best? What can you delegate or release completely?
#3 LINGER LONGER. (DAYS FIFTEEN – TWENTY-ONE)
A busy life says, ‘Hurry up! You’re falling behind. Do more!’ A slow one says, ‘You can stop now. It’s okay to be still and listen to your soul or stop to say prayers in the warmth of the sunshine.’ There is no guilt in self-care and no shame in lingering or waking up slowly.
Slowing down supports your commitment to create and protect your newfound time and space. Savor good food, conversation, and beautiful views. Fall in love. Smile. Breath. Then, fall in love again.
Tip: Lose the guilt. Instead of thinking about the opposite of busyness as laziness, consider that the opposite of a busy life is a full, intentional life.
If busyness has compromised your health, relationships or work or if it has silenced your soul, take action with the busy boycott. With more demands on our time, the advances in modern-day technology and our desire to be seen, accomplished and important, the pressure is on to do more with less. Instead, join me boycott busy and be more with less.