Stop the Glorification of Busy

stop glorifying busy

The past couple of weeks I’ve been struggling to find balance. My perfectionistic ways have crafted a life that calls for me {or so I have imagined} to give 1000% 24-7. I can tell it’s affected my energy, relationships…everything. It’s not a sustainable set of habits, yet I’ve worn that busyness like a badge of honor.

See, the trouble is, I feel guilty when I’m not working the hardest I’ve ever worked before. I thought for a long time that was keeping my integrity, but as I’ve prayed about it, I realized it was mostly pride. {Darn you, pride! If I could tie you to a rock and drown you in the ocean, I would.}

The past few weeks, I’ve been prompted to share that I’m struggling with this so many times I’ve lost count. I’ve been encouraged and challenged by the responses to start coming up with a different way of doing things.

I tend to struggle to find concrete, doable ways to put into practice what I’m learning, but here’s what I’ve come up with so far:

  • I installed an application on my computer called Time Out, and set it to have mini, 15 second breaks every 20 minutes that I’m working on the computer, and a 10 minute break each hour to hour and a half. I work at an intense pace until that break hits and then I focus on something {or nothing} else, allowing my mind to roam and refresh. During these little breaks, I’ve lost count of the times that something I had forgotten just popped into my head or a new idea snuck in. Amazing! 
  • E-mail is a time sucker and a stresser for me. So I experimented with checking it at a couple of set times a day. After answering everything I can, I shut the browser until the next set time. Hello, new hour of the day, I must have missed you in between constantly checking my e-mails… {Seriously. This has saved me at least an hour a day. I get a lot of e-mail, but still. One.whole.hour.}
  • Outside of work, I started listing things that I do that make me feel rested. I try to make sure I have those built into my weekly schedule. I’ve discovered watching tv is not one of those things for me. It leaves me feeling bored and even more tired. Zumba, date nights, and cooking are where it’s at.

I’ve only been tracking the changes for a few weeks, but my energy level and the amount and quality of things I’ve accomplished has grown each week.

Less tangibly {yet more importantly}, my heart has to be right. The things I do have to be for the Lord, not me. I have to be careful not to fall into the trap of being lazy, but I can’t overcorrect and be crazy, timeline nazi Caitlin, either. This piece is messier, less clear cut. Yet somehow, it’s more tackle-able when paired with the practical steps above.

Do you feel pressured to be constantly busy? What do you do to rest and refresh? 

PS If you know the original source of this image, please let me know so I can credit it.

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  • Liz Crawford June 23, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    I’m always so blessed by your honesty & transparency. I struggle with the Exact. Same. Thing. (Are we twins?) Our ministry office is always busy, our email culture expects emails to be answered right away, since its ministry I find myself working overtime a lot, & I chuck it up to wanting to just give 1000% because I love what I do & love serving God in this way. I, too, am starting to set boundaries on my time, starting to incorporate things in my week that I love to do, & starting to fiercely protect my times with The Lord daily (something that was being put to the side because of my intense busyness. I loved your tips & will try to incorporate some of them into my life as well. Thanks girl!!

    • Caitlin Author June 25, 2013 at 6:50 AM

      Lol! Liz, I think we might be. It’s so difficult, but I’m glad you’re putting in boundaries and intentionally resting- especially protecting your times with the Lord. When I miss that, everything else loses focus and tends to spiral downward quickly. I hope your week is going well so far! Let me know what other things you come up with- it’s always inspiring to hear what works for others.

  • Sarah @ Tucker Up June 23, 2013 at 12:31 PM

    Love this, sweet friend! I, too, and struggling with this. Especially since Chris has been working so much. I feel I have to do everything, all day, everyday. In reality, it is okay to stop and smell the roses :) Hope we can have a double date soon! Chris is working nights, again, this coming week. Booo. But after this week we should be free!

    • Caitlin Author June 25, 2013 at 6:51 AM

      Yes! It is. But you’re right. It’s so much easier said than done. I hope so, too! Let me know when y’all get a free night and we WILL have that double date! Can’t wait :)

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