Previously, I've written about how you should be busy instead, because of the flooding of posts and opinions in our industry about how busy is bad and we shouldn't be busy. I talked about the difference between being busy doing what you love and being busy just for the sake of... well, being busy. And I just wanted to talk a little bit more about being busy today, because I've seen how being too busy can be detrimental for ourselves and our businesses, not only in the way of overwhelm and burn out, but when it stands in the way of truly caring.
So I felt in my heart that this is something I wanted to write about -- the definition of too busy.
I was and am all for finding your definition of busy and rest. There is still a lot of talk about simplifying and working less, and I'm all for that, if that's what you want. The difference is, we all have different tolerances and thresholds for overwhelm and stress, and there is no one-size-fits-all formula when it comes to busyness. I love being busy with things that I love. And I can imagine it's the same for you. When we know what the cut-off point is, we know when to push back and say enough. It's time to leave this for another day.
There is one exception though, where I feel most people have overlooked.
You are definitely too busy when you no longer have time to care.
And I don't mean care about the things you love to do. I mean, care about the things that matter, the things that you stand for, the matters that set your heart on fire, the people around you and the people who need you.
You are too busy when you no longer have time to care about causes that your heart moves for.
I looked in my calendar and realized that I forgot to care about Pencils of Promise, or Restore International, or animal rescue. These are the things that set my heart on fire, that forms a crucial part of why I do what I do, and why I am so adamant on giving back when I can, on educating the rest of the population and spreading the message.
It's easy to forget because there's so much going on with our lives -- work, learning, children, parents... -- but it's no excuse. When we're too busy to fight for causes we believe in, we cease to contribute to the good that we want to see happen. When we're too busy to stand for the things we stand for, movements cannot continue. Change cannot arise. The ground stops shaking. It is not a time to say, someone else will do it. Because you are that someone.
Schedule in your calendar to make time for what your heart moves for. What are the causes that tug at your heartstrings, that you want to see real change in? Those are things that you cannot be too busy for. After all, we are legacy entrepreneurs, right? This is part of our legacy. Make it happen. :)
(P.S.: Mini-celebration, I've officially become a monthly donor to WWF. Your voice and impact is needed.)
You are too busy when you no longer pray / ask about / talk to someone whom you care about.
We have so, many, friends. Family. Business acquaintances. With social media it seems like we're now more connected than ever. And we can think about people even more frequently now, because we see their names pop up in our news feed. We pray when we see prayers asked for in statuses or updates. We send encouragement when we see a post that needs a reply. But what about active action?
You are definitely too busy when you cannot find time to click on that message icon and send an ACTIVE message out to someone you care for, ask about their day, genuinely listen and send prayers or encouragement. You are too busy when you find it hard to pick up that phone and call that friend whom you connected with online, but had no time to talk to more. When you find yourself saying, oh she'll understand, I'll do it next week/month, you are too busy.
LOVE DOES. Love is not "later", love is not "she knows" and love is not optional. Let's make time for love, shall we? Let's make time to love on the people who matter to us actively, pursuing the relationship and deepening it intentionally. Because people matter. More than that hustling you need to do.
You are too busy when you stop caring about the little things.
It's the little things in life that brings us the most joy -- I am certain of it. It's so easy to get caught up with chasing the next best thing perpetually. I will be the first to raise my hand. But in the midst of all that hustle and bustle, we need to take time to slow down (my favorite thing, EVER), be still and give thanks.
Gratitude is an extremely powerful yet often overlooked tool in our life. It can be a weapon, but it can also be a solace. So I say that you are definitely too busy when you cannot find time to just write down three things that you're grateful for today. That you forget to say, thank you, for the small things. Maybe it's fresh, clean water (honestly, I am so thankful for this every, single, day) or it's that cup of coffee. Maybe it's that hug from your husband. Maybe it's that extra little something for the client who's been going through a stressful time. Maybe it's crossing the ts and dotting the is.
The beauty is in the little things and the details. Point them out relentlessly and be thankful for them. I assure you, it's a breath of fresh air.
So how did you fare on those three questions? Were they all ticks? Are you too busy to care?
It's not too late. Tomorrow is a new day. Let's take charge of our new days and stop being too busy for our hearts. For caring.
Talk to me in the comments! How have you been too busy? How have you been busy doing what you love? How have you managed the balance? I'm all ears!
[bctt tweet="You are too busy when you no longer have time to care. "]