The Excessive Busyness Epidemic – 10 Antidotes

Excessive busyness = stress, overwhelm and discontent

Excessive BusynessAre you guilty of trying to do it all? Do you attempt to get too much done in too little time?

Trying to squeeze too many activities into too few hours leaves you feeling stressed and overwhelmed.

Perhaps you secretly like to be seen as a busy person running here and there, having others wonder how you fit it all in and marvel at your importance. Maybe you’re under financial and family pressures that outstrip your resources. Either way, excessive busyness is turning in to an epidemic in todays modern age, that leaves us feeling stressed, discontent, overwhelmed, and short on time.

The following antidotes give you some solutions for avoiding excessive buyness if you want to.

10 Antidotes (and 1 bonus) to Excessive Busyness

  1. Turn off electronic communication. Being connected to phones, tablets and social media all day plays a big role in generating feelings of overwhelmed. Try detoxing from social media for a day or at least make an effort to switch off your phones and computers an hour before you go to bed. Recent Reasearch shows that this is also beneficial to aiding a good nights sleep.
  2. Always act mindfully. Ensure that regardless of what you are doing you are fully engaged in it. Focus on one thing at a time. You’ll improve the the quality of your work and reduce your personal stress levels.
  3. Prioritise you passions. Revisit your purpose and find dedicated time to complete the activities that matter most to you. Using your time wisely makes your life more meaningful.
  4. Establish systems and routines. Are you one of those people that spends as much time coordinating your work as actually performing it? A systematic approach turns frequent chores into automatic habits and gets rid paralysis by analysis. Do your food shopping on Wednesdays and Saturdays. Check your email and return phone calls at set times of the day perhaps mid morning and just after lunch.
  5. Work with others. We accomplish far more when working with others. Identify your strengths and focus on the things that utilise those strengths and try to outsource or eliminate the remaining tasks.
  6. Get more sleep. Sacrifice sleep in order to get more done very rarely works. Getting the amount of sleep that you need aids your effectiveness. If you can’t keep your eyes open, go to bed an hour earlier than usual.
  7. Stop trying for perfection. You don’t have to proof read an email many times, do it once and send it. Stop trying to be perfect at home, give yourself time to relax as long as your children eat everyday and wear clean clothes to school each day, you probably don’t need to worry about your housekeeping any further.
  8. Look out for free time. Many people have free time available to them, they just don’t notice it! Have you ever removed the cushions from the settee and discovered loose change hidden there or perhaps you have found money in the pocket of a jacket that’s been hanging in your wardrobe for months. Discovering more free time will give you the same feelings, monitor the time you have that is not taken up by work, commuting, and sleeping. Be firm and make a decision as to how you are going to spend that time before external pressures decide for you.
  9. Be first out of the office. If you find yourself spending more time talking to the office cleaners than your family, you probably need to consider leaving work a little earlier. Once a week surprise your family and leave work a little earlier. Let your colleagues know in advance and once they get over the initial shock you will find them to be very supportive.
  10. Stop and think. A bias towards taking action will make you do something even if we think it will be counterproductive. Give yourself permission to stop and smell the coffee before taking action.

And talking of coffee (Bonus Antidote)

  1. Brew real coffee. The traditional coffee break is quickly being replaced by instant sachets of coffee, that you pour into a mug of boiling water. Take a proper break, make a real coffee and share it with a with a friend. You will force yourself to take a proper break and the world will look a lot better. If anyone says anything, tell them I said it was okay.

If you’re feeling swamped, it’s time to create more balance in your life. Along with challenges and adventure, make room for mundane tasks and quiet reflection. You’ll soon find that less activity can be more fulfilling.

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Till Next Time

Mike Gardner – The Time Doctor

Mike Gardner is ‘The Time Doctor’ and is highly regarded as one of the UK’s leading Time Management specialists being regularly featured in articles in the small business sections of both The Times and Guardian newspapers. He is an author, speaker and mentor. He enables you to prioritize your activities, so that you can be incredibly productive, whilst still having time for the things that matter most in your life. He is an avid fan of Aston Villa, a Dad of Neil & Emma, a hubby to Wendy and in his role as an Officer with the reserve forces, he has completed operational tours of Iraq and Afghanistan.

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20 thoughts on “The Excessive Busyness Epidemic – 10 Antidotes

  1. As a work-at-home mom, I am so guilty of this! But, I have also learned the value of shutting down sometimes. It can be easy to convince yourself that flitting from work to housework to meandering in the garden with the kids is actually effective working behavior, but it’s just busyness that wears you out at the end of the day. Now, I try to reach a point in the day where I shut the laptop, put down my phone and just chill out. It’s a great feeling!
    Jessica B Woods recently posted…10 Reasons You Should Just Go Write That BookMy Profile

  2. Great tips as always Mike. When I started working from home the toughest lessons I learnt were limiting time on social media, acting mindfully and not trying to be perfect. After I mastered those I was a lot less “busy” and a lot more productive.
    Carol King recently posted…How to Get and Stay Motivated?My Profile

  3. Awesome tips! I especially like #11. It actually makes a huge difference. I also like #5 a lot. I have found that the more we work with other people, the ore we accomplish (as opposed to just bing busy). Even if our work (like mine) is more solo-oriented, we can involve an accountability partner or a goals partner, and that helps keeps us focused.
    Ed Akehurst recently posted…Walkthrough: WordPress Websites Modular TrainingMy Profile

  4. As always, all good suggestions – and your bonus was so delightful. I hate to say it, but I use the office Keurig [not instant, but “pods”] and I never make coffee for anyone. So many companies in the United States frown on the employee who is “first out of the office” and want their employees be available by electronic contact 24/7 – there is an entire culture that promotes toxic work habits. I shared this post with my LinkedIn contacts.
    Alana recently posted…Civil War Sunday – The EndMy Profile

    • Hi Alana, thanks for sharing, I will look you up on linked in, as far as the toxic work culture, the UK is very much the same, but I will continue the good fight, and get yourself a proper coffee

    • Thanks Wendy,

      I like a nice Orange Juice first thing in the morning, but I’m quite partial to a decent cup of Coffee, a result of spending too much time living in the Middle East

  5. I love your article Mike Gardner! I am a fan of self-care and balance. Thanks for the awesome tips and I know it will help a lot of people who need to read this blog.