On Busyness

Friends ask me how life is over the phone…

Life’s great, but really busy!

I come into work on Monday and ask about my friend’s weekends…

Our weekend was great, but really busy!

A friend wants to get coffee…

Can we do the next week? This week is just really busy! 

Let’s face it: Life is Busy. And most of the time I like it. There’s an energy about staying busy and a satisfaction of being organized and collaborating with others. I think God designed us to be that way — there are certainly plenty of proverbs on the value of a productive life.

But I have also realized it can become a source of pride. Like, look at me — I’m doing things. Or I’m too important for that, because I’m too busy doing this. Or, look at all that I can juggle in my life.

It can also be a source of jealousy. I’ll look around at friends or bloggers who are able to keep their house clean, kids fed, blogs filled, work a full time job, and I wonder How do they do it all? And why can’t I be that put together?

A busy life is hard to balance. I don’t want to miss out on the opportunities and responsibilities I’ve been given, but also don’t want to get burned out in the process by overextending myself. Is it possible to be busy in a balanced, biblical way? I think so. I am hoping to find that balance in the next few months so I created a few challenges to help reduce some of the clutter in my life and capitalize on the opportunities. Here are just a few I came up with:

1. Stop using busy as an excuse.

  • Don’t overshare with friends how much I am doing or how packed my days are. They know and are just as busy as I am.
  • Stop posting on social media how busy or tired I am. Isn’t everyone tired?
  • If I can’t do something now, find a way to make it happen later, or let it go. I can’t do it all.

2. Examine my days and see what needs to stay, what needs to go and what needs to be added.

  • Do I really need to post five days a week on this blog? Or are three posts enough?
  • When do I have the most energy at home? That’s when I should be straightening up or preparing lunches or picking out my outfit for the next day, tasks that I usually rush around doing at the last minute.
  • Do I really need to be looking at Instagram every waking moment? Nope, I don’t.
  • How am I always behind on my Google Reader? It’s time to unsubscribe from blogs that I don’t read on a regular basis.
  • What areas of my life give me energy and encourage me? Running, meeting with girls in my small group, reading my Bible in the morning, relaxing with J. These are things I need to make time for.

3. Invest in the opportunities God has given me to further His kingdom.

  • Many times I look at what I need to add to my plate to glorify God, but what areas of my life now has God given me that I can use towards His kingdom?
    *  Home — Create a warm and inviting place for rest, encouragement, and open for others to gather
    *  Work — Work honest, hard and efficiently; develop real relationships with coworkers
    *  Blog — Post on what God is teaching me and be more authentic about my life, not just the parts that are put together
    *  Marathon training — Listen to sermons and pray for friends in the hours upon hours that I run
    *  Church — Look for opportunities to serve and encourage others, but don’t overcommit to ministries just for the sake of volunteering
    *  Friendships — Look for ways to encourage others and don’t be afraid to make new friends

Do you find yourself overwhelmed by life’s busyness? What areas of your life do you need to let go of in order to create balance?

(photo credit)

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  • Amen, friend. We don’t feel like Super Woman, but we sure do want other people to think we are. Secretly, of course :)

  • Oh, I so know what you are talking about in this post! I’ve got a two year old and I go to work 3 days a week so I know our routines are bound to be different. However, I allocate a ‘busy’ half hour early in the evening (usually when Husband is giving our daughter a bath!). I tidy up the living room and kitchen, wash up, pack lunches for the next day and also pack my bag with whatever is needed for the next day (either my business bag for work days or a casual bag for ‘home’ days). I also hang out washing and generally try to get things tidy. I try to spend the whole half hour going as fast as I can to get a lot done.Then, once I’ve read girlie a few stories and popped her to bed, I know I’ve got the whole evening for unwinding, catching up on emails, doing my nails, reading or whatever I might want to do or need to get done. It might sound organised but I actually find it really calming as I know I’m going to get some down time. Good luck with it all and look forward to hearing about how you get on!

  • This is a great post. There are so many things I want to do so ‘yes’ I do sometimes find myself too busy. But I don’t like hearing about how busy others are because I do believe that people will find the time for the things they want to do. Simple as that. Like you I want to be more balanced in my life, and also to feel like I am being productive with the time God has given me.
    So I’ve started to set broad goals each year (I leave out all the detailed subgoals). Using this as my guideline and getting rid of “fluff” along the way, helps me to be more focussed on things. I’m still working on making my daily dos, the best they can be. Bible reading is a good part of that.

  • Ginna- I always enjoy reading your blog. It is so insightful and you have such wisdom. Thanks for this post. I needed to read that today!

  • This is a beautiful post and I can totally relate! Thanks for sharing your hear and challenging us. It was so fun to see/hear you on the mentorship chat last night!!