Matthew 11:28 (NIV) 28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”
The meaning of busyness: to be full of distracting details. Life seems to be getting busier and busier instead of simpler! An overloaded lifestyle can oftentimes lead to forgetfulness. A too busy lifestyle is one that’s perhaps bombarded by distractions, cell phones, Internet, TV, radio, face book, etc. Have you ever gone to the refrigerator, only to forget what you opened the door for in the first place? Too much on your plate can lead to feeling frazzled, stressed, rushed, fatigued, forgetful and constantly worn down. It can created physical ailments as well. Does any of this sound familiar to you?
Here are some signs that you might be struggling with “busyness” in your own life:
1) Doing “nice” work or good works for others, while neglecting your own tasks.
2) Doing things really well or “perfectly” completing tasks, that don’t need to be done.
3) Allowing other people’s agendas to define our choices and decisions.
4) Doing bits and pieces of activities (a constant flurry of activity) but not quite completing a task.
5) Attending too many meetings, activities, studies, agendas. Having a schedule that’s overloaded constantly!
6) Procrastinating until the last minute, to complete a task.
8) Cluttered work all around you, at work, at home, etc. Piles of disorganization all around you!
9) Lack of priority, feeling like work or tasks never, ever get done.
10) Feeling there’s never enough time to get it all done!
11) Never being able to “rest” or feel like your work is ever done, that it’s your job to get it all done.
12) Making people around you stressed, or on edge because your “to do” list is never completed, there’s always something to add to the list!
We need to pay attention to what’s going on inside of us. What could I be avoiding in my life? A failed marriage, relationship struggles, addictions, sadness or depression, disappointments, unhappiness, fear, grief, afraid of failure, perfectionism, or control issues? What is driving this constant need to be overloaded? Why am I unable to rest and be still? What could it be that I may be afraid to face? Do I feel like I have to control everything or everyone around me, because perhaps my own life is spiraling out of control? Am I a micro-manager of those around me? Am I making those around me miserable with my own unmanageability?
The first step in busyness is to take some time to watch, to observe and ask others around you. Could you ask another set of eyes to evaluate how you’re doing? Are you willing to ask those you Love if you struggle with busyness? If they say yes, then stop for a moment and discern their answer. Could it be there’s an ounce of truth to their statement? Now that you’ve assessed this could be an issue, what will you do about it?
Busyness can be destructive. It has the potential to rob you of who you can become. It can distract you from the priorities that should be accomplished. You can become so focused on “doing” that you forget about “being”. It can cause you to miss out on important things like your relationships with God and others. It can cause you to miss the opportunities HE has presented to you, because you’re so overbooked that you cannot see them! You could be missing out on the blessings HE has in store for you!
Many of the things that we feel we “need” to do, are truly wants, and not needs. We run around doing what our own agenda dictates! We’re all selfish by nature and our busy little life is surrounded by what we want, and not what we should be doing. This “busyness” is really a burden of choice. Do you believe this? Think about it for a brief moment, who created this busy schedule? It was me, not my family, not my work, not my friends, not my church. It was ME buying into the myth of my time crunch and buying into the lie that my life is spinning out of control with “busyness” and I cannot do anything about it. Too much “busyness” is truly self-inflicted. We’re blaming the loss of control of our own life to the things and to our own agendas. It could be better stated that “I don’t have time” truly means that particular thing is not really a priority to me! It’s time to be honest with ourselves. This may be hitting home, I know for me it did and I had to re-prioritize my life in several strategic ways. “Time is the scarcest resource, and unless it is managed nothing else can be managed,” said Peter Drucker.
Here are some practical ways to control “busyness”:
1) Have clear, SMART objectives (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bounded).
2) Have clear activities that can deliver specific results.
3) Ask why (to yourself nicely and often) to clarify if this task needs to be completed. Can I delegate it to others, or perhaps put it off for another day?
4) Is this activity meaningful for you, and/or your family?
5) Have a clear direction of what you’re doing and why.
6) Prune and review your schedule and lifestyle regularly.
7) Avoid getting too busy, take time daily to rest and refresh. If your day is too busy with constant activity, then it’s too full! Period, STOP and let some things go. Purpose to shut down each day!
8) Don’t confuse your activity with productivity. Let go what you can, do what needs to be done today and leave the rest. Make a reasonable, written list of what needs to be done.
9) Be accountable to another person for your “busyness”. Allow someone to speak into your life to encourage you and hold you accountable for your actions and doings. Doing more of the same activity that got you into this “insanity” is not the answer. Doing things differently is how we’ll overcome this challenge.
10) Setting clear boundaries in your own life. Be able to say “no” to people and good things. They may be valid, good things, but filling up your space with too much “busy work” is unhealthy.
11) Make a list of what NOT to do (an actual list of those activities to get erased from the “to do list”).
12) Take time quarterly to get away, or at a minimum, plan several hours each week of “me-time” to recharge and refresh.
13) Consider throwing out all those lists and take life more carefree. Relinquish control of everything!
14) Purpose (and schedule) to spend time with family and friends each week.
15) Let Go! Do less so others in your life can take responsibility for tasks: such as your spouse, having children help out more with chores, letting your co-worker do their own job, allowing church members to take more ownership of tasks, letting go of managing committees, events, activities, etc.
Many times the small things add up and can create too much! We must make room for God and others, not just 2 hours on Sunday. We need time to connect with someone and build relationships. At the end of our life, are we truly wishing we’d had more time to get that project done, or will we live in regret because we didn’t spend more quality time with family and friends? We need to daily re-focus on HIM and where we’re at. How do we know where we’re going, if we’re not asking each day? Daily we need to ask God to lead and direct our life, ask HIM where we’re headed and if this is HIS will for me? Should I be involved in this task/activity? Am I doing too much?
If you don’t guard yourself against “busyness” it can take over your life and continue to become unmanageable. Be willing to be accountable to someone to help you change this out of control, unmanageable lifestyle.
It’s time to make the most of your life! Don’t be fooled into thinking your life is always spiraling out of control. Stop complaining that your life will never change, and begin to make some positive changes today! 2012 can be a better year for YOU! At Celebrate Recovery, some of us are dealing with busyness and how to prioritize our lives too. We’re becoming accountability to each other and gaining freedom from this issue and other issues. We’re discovering how to become more of who God created us to be! Come join us and see that this road is not meant to be walked alone! Celebrate Recovery, First Baptist Church, Fridays at 7 p.m. 408 College Street, Clinton, NC 28328. For more information: 910-379-4033 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Check out the song Come Rest By Lindsay McCaul, as I believe it speaks of busyness. Here’s a few of the lyrics:
Busy busy me full of self-sufficiency
I have tried so fervently to earn Your love
But any joy that I once found is wearing off is winding down
And I can hear You in the madness calling out
When You say come rest -should I be working so hard
When You say love rest -did You want hands or my heart
‘Cause I have done my best and still I miss the mark
But I remember You said it’s done
So I come