5 Ways to feel less busy this week

This is an update to a post a wrote back in December about five things I’m trying to feel less busy.

American’s like to be busy, or at least, feel that way. I have been there, and fortunately, I am starting to come out of it. I don’t want to feel busy all the time. I want to be productive. I want to engage in many things. But, feeling the constant stress of busyness isn’t something I’m very interested in sustaining. So, here are five things I’m doing to feel less busy.

  1. I don’t say I’m busy. It used to be my default response when someone would ask me how I’m doing. I would say, “I’m good, just busy.” And then make. A joke about having a lot of kids, or being in school, or something. If I don’t want to feel busy, I shouldn’t say I am.
  2. Create moments of down time. Downtime doesn’t have to be so long that you can binge watch a season of Lost. Downtime can be ten minutes of quiet reading or a seven-minute walk to clear your head. Sometimes just stepping out of an activity for three minutes can recharge me.
  3. Control how and when I respond. Our culture seems to think that an email should be responded to as soon as you get the notification. I hate that. I respond to my email (and other similar communication tools) frequently throughout the day, but I refuse to let them set the tone and cadence of my day.
  4. I take time for me. Each day I get up early and take a little time for myself. I catch up on reading, do some writing, check Facebook, etc. If there is no time in the day for myself, I will inevitably feel overly busy.
  5. Start each day with reasonable, achievable goals. I used to start most of my days with a task list so long it would be impossible to complete in 24 hours, let alone 8 to 14. That made me feel busy and defeated. Instead, I try to start my day with a reasonable list of what I will accomplish, and then if I get it all done, I just add from the backlog of things I can work on next.