Everyone claims that they’re busy, and now we’re in search of even stronger superlatives. “Crazy busy!” “Going absolutely nuts!”
But of course, you know the truth. We all have the exact same 168 hours per week, as it’s been since the dawn of humanity. So what’s changed?
We’ve dramatically increased the number of distractions.
So how do you deal with this? First, by realizing that most of those distractions are entirely optional. If you’re shuttling your kids around between sports and music and events, it’s because you decided to sign them up for that. Yes, you didn’t realize at the time what you were getting yourself in for, but it’s a decision you made.
Your job is seemingly coming at you 24×7. After dinner, you’re back into it again, and even the weekends seem to be constantly interrupted. The truth? This is the employer and career that you opted for.
Yes, that’s uncomfortable.
Are you feeling locked in to your job because you need that income to support your lifestyle? Admit it – we all do this. The truth is that it’s a lifestyle that you’ve chosen to adopt, significantly above the huge part of the human population which lives on a few dollars a day.
Now it’s REALLY uncomfortable.
The great thing is that you’ve been given 168 hours a week, a beautiful 1,440 minutes every day. You’re as rich as Bill Gates for the time you have.
If you like feeling busy, juggling lots of balls, then go for it. There’s plenty of opportunity. If you want to have a little time during the week when you’re not feeling so frantic, that’s a great choice too.
I started a little experiment a couple of weeks ago, when I noticed that my response to “How’s it going?” generally revolved around my level of busy-ness. I decided to focus my answer on something which was more positive and optimistic: A great person I spoke with recently, a neat project I’m working on, or even a simple observation about the great day.
It turned out to be harder than I expected; apparently this habit is more ingrained than I had thought. But I’ll continue to work at it.
How’s my day today? Well, I’m excited to be at a beautiful new Monday morning, giving a presentation tomorrow night and facilitating a cool discussion on Thursday night.
I’m trying to keep my balance.