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March 12, 2019

Is your busyness like a drug?

I know firsthand how useful busyness can be in your life. We wear it as a badge of honor, but it can also be a shield of protection.

Just like any drug, it starts out small, unintentional. No one sets out to become an addict.

But slowly,  a growing realization happens – mostly subconscious, that busyness numbs your pain and distracts you from things in your life you don’t want to deal with- no different from alcohol or other drugs.

When I first recognized this in myself, I could see this addiction pattern in my family and how it was passed down to me from my father who was a workaholic. I have always felt that I had no addictions, no addictive personality, but I was wrong.

Busyness is one of the few addictions that is socially sanctioned and even encouraged.

There’s no 12 step for this addiction, we’re all too busy to realize we have a problem and we’re definitely too busy to find the time to go to a 12 step meeting.

If you recognize yourself in this description, it may make you feel bad that I just pointed out a problem you didn’t even know you had. Stop that too. It’s a waste of time.

If you’re overly busy, implement these things in your daily life:

  1. Ask yourself the difficult questions: Am I happy? Is this how I want to live the rest of my life? What am I distracting myself from? You can go years without really paying attention to your life, because it’s only in the quiet, in the space, that we have time to reflect.
  2. Schedule in that quiet time. You must have space for your thoughts. With no quiet and no space, we can ignore everything that is falling apart in our lives and feel like life is hunky dory. It’s the ultimate distraction.

You will be surprised what comes up when you give your brain space. Some of it may be good, creative ideas, and some of it will remind you why you stay so busy to begin with.

Does your marriage suck? Are you unhappy with your career choice? Are you grieving the loss of something? That’s the stuff you need to be wiling to face head on.

  1. Find some help to deal with the things you are distracting yourself from. Busyness for busyness sake isn’t as productive as busyness for a purpose. When you take care of your pain, your production will skyrocket.

You will probably always be a doer in your life, as am I, and life will be full. There is nothing wrong with that.  Be careful not to use my busyness as an escape because it is way too easy.



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