Too Much to Do, Too Little Time to Do It

Ugh, I’m tired.  I’m having one of those weeks where your to do list seems to extend further than the next year.  It seems like work and home are just packed with things to do.  At times I even feel a bit overwhelmed at it all.  Yet I’m comforted by one simple fact: yes I’m busy, but this feeling is mostly in my head.

The fact of the matter is we tell ourselves we are busy and tend to remember what we want to support that.  We tend to forget we watched TV for an hour before bed or we visited family for two hours or that half an hour at lunch reading a book.  We like to recall that we painted walls, did taxes and filed some papers.  Yet the truth is being busy is mainly in your own head.

Yes I’ve been doing lots of things in the last few weeks, but some of them are completely my choice and I rather enjoy them.  I don’t have to write these blog posts, but here I sit each morning.  I don’t have to get my report at work in by Wed, but I want to.  I’m painting a wall in my basement because I like the colour.  No one put a gun to my head to do any of these things.  Life is about choice.  We choose to be busy or not.

If you really stripped down your days to what you must do, or people will go hungry or not have a place to live, the list is rather short.  The list would likely have earn money, buy food, cook food, pay bills and basic hygiene for you and your kids.  After that it’s a matter of personal preference of things you do and in what order.  Saying “Oh, but I have to…” is bullshit.  You want to do and it’s your choice.  Take some responsibility for your life.

So next time your feeling overwhelmed by being busy pull out your day planner and put in a hour to sit on your butt and do something relaxing by yourself.  Book it for today or even tomorrow and don’t roll your eyes at the screen it’s just an hour you can likely squeeze that in somewhere.  Tell your loved ones “Yes I love you but I REALLY need some time to myself so could all of you just piss off for an hour.”  If they really do love you they will get the point and realize you will like emerge from that hour a lot happier.

I suggest at least an hour to yourself once a week, two is better.  A little be of being selfish can often really boost your feelings of well being and put your life in some perspective.  Remember some time to relect on life and relax isn’t a want in life.  It’s a need.  Not doing it is a recipe for discontentment.

So do you take some time to yourself each week?  If so, what do you do?  I’ll go first.  Yes I like to make some time for me each week.  This week I’m attend a seminar on publishing a graphic novel (aka: comic book).  Why?  Just because it sounding interesting and fun to me.

4 thoughts on “Too Much to Do, Too Little Time to Do It”

  1. Completely agree.

    I have dealt with the ‘busy’ issue before and came to a conclusion. When somebody say’s they are ‘busy’, what it really translates into is this. ‘I have an event or activity that is a higher priority than the one requesting my attention/time’

    With that definition, you can know realize that all the events in your life are given a priority. You choose which events take higher or lower precedence. If free time to wander the town is a priority to you, you will not be to busy to do that.

    The other issue is when you push time or events with loved ones down the list of priorities. Then they get the ‘I’m to busy’ line. That is a recipe for eventual, and certian, disaster.

    My 2c

  2. Amen to that. If you are too busy, schedule time (and those that are busy can do this) to sit on your butt and relax doing what you want.

    I love what you have to say. I get busy and I schedule relaxation in just like I would an appointment with a client.

  3. Adam,

    Now that is a good translation of “I’m busy.” I’ll have to remember it in the future.

    I agree pushing away loved ones too much can be bad. Yet at the same time you shouldn’t give up all your personal time either. You need some balance.


    The reality is the only way some people make things like this happen is to book it. Otherwise it can just get forgotten about.


  4. Hi,
    You should check out Mark Forster’s – he wrote “Do It Tomorrow” and “Get Everything Done – But Still Have Time to Play” – he has a great new system called Autofocus.

    I could never manage to schedule myself to do the things that are important, but using this system, it seems like the important things are getting done regularly without my having to push to get them done. It’s also a great fix for overwhelm, because it encourages the “little and often” approach to getting things done.

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