Remember when you asked a person “how’s it going?” and the standard response would be “it’s going alright” or “fine” or “good good”, but more often than not today the response is “BUSY!” and then you sympathize and say “I know, so busy”. Being busy has become a cultural norm. I long for the days of being bored and not knowing what to do with my time. It feels like only a decade ago I was saying “I am well” and most recently my snap back response is “BUSY!” and sometimes I am annoyed someone would interrupt my strut with a purpose to engage in small talk which holds no value anymore.
I blame the advancement in technology as the leaps in efficiency have impacted our work worlds; we are expected to turn over tasks more quickly than ever. I am sure what used to be accomplished in a year is now accomplished in one month with speed and precision. In addition to colleagues and clients being able to contact you by email, office phone, cell phone, messenger and only on the rarest of occasions snail mail. While trying to do a regular work load, juggling competing tasks with various levels of urgency, meetings taking up a good chunk of your work day, phones dinging and/or ringing, emails pouring in, work life can be overwhelming and chaotic.
I always think of John Lennon’s song “Watching the Wheels” and I get the impression he wrote this song when he no longer cared about the rat race of life or being famous anymore. He just wanted to pause, exhale and just be. I will never be famous, but I am tired of all of it too.
It is no wonder more and more people are getting rid of tons of their belongings in search of minimalism and living a simplistic lifestyle. Clutter is chaos and although it is difficult to avoid the electronic junk which infests our work space, we can have control over living space.
You hear about people quitting six figure careers and selling everything so they can pursue a dream and live in a tiny house with minimal possessions, so they can be free from debt and escape the hamster wheel of life.
So many of us are on the verge of burnout as we give our lives and souls to organizations, and we can all be easily replaced when it comes to work. Yet running on this endless treadmill of thankless busyness is literally killing us as we are stressed out prone to disease and exhausted.
Something has to give. I am not quite sure what the solution is, but I believe slowing down has something to do with it. Reducing our distractions in our down time, and trying to control our work environments by creating boundaries so we can focus on one task at a time.
We need to slow down as life is passing us by and we are getting very little out of it. I don’t know about you, but I want to live and embrace life and all this busy business is not living. It is chaos.
We may not have the luxury to quit our jobs and pursue our dreams, but we can create boundaries, we can make time for our loved ones, we can limit our time on social media, we can appreciate what we have and stop accruing more junk and clutter. We can be more careful with our money and purchase only what we need or holds value to us. We can take the money we save and put it away so we can retire early and we can accept that living in the lapse of luxury isn’t worth it if it means sacrificing what does hold value to you.
Life is brief. It isn’t a competition and it isn’t meant to be spent stressed out and rushed. Slow down.
Peace & Love – Rachel