An interesting article, The Disease of Being Busy, popped up in my Facebook feed this morning. I skimmed the first couple of paragraphs because I was too busy to read the whole thing when I first saw it. When I finally had time to read it this afternoon (while waiting for my flight home), it hit me in the gut. I have always been too busy. Every since childhood, I have overcommited myself to myself and to others. Some days I feel too busy to breathe. Lately, I feel too busy to take good care of myself; healthy food and exercise never make it too the top of my list. And all too often, I'm busy doing things that don't feed my soul. That don't plug me in to the world around me. That disconnect me from people who matter in my life. That don't make a difference to me, my company, or the world.
A lot happened this week to emphasize my own dis-ease. Suddenly, finding ways to becoming less busy, to make more space to connect frequently with the people I love, to take care of myself and my family, and to do more important work and less busy work at work is at the top of my list. It's time to chuck unnecessary things overboard. Random television and random surfing will be the first things to go. I think that cleaning my own house is going, too. It's time to limit evening and weekend television and internet time to just those shows and forums that feed my soul and encourage my creativity. It's also time to focus on just one or two projects at a time instead of half a dozen or more.
I'm also going to take a close look at how I spend my work days. I need to do a much better job of focusing on the 20% of activities that make the big impacts and stop doing the small stuff that is useful but doesn't make a big impact on the bottom line.
I will spend an hour or two tomorrow setting some high targets aimed straight at being less busy for the rest of this year. Six weeks should break the busy habit so I can spend my 45th year on more meaningful and important things. Come back tomorrow for those high targets and my concrete plans to hit them.