tired of busy-one-upmanship

 In breathe, career, energy, mindfulness, presence, relationships, time management

We ask it to make small talk. To commiserate. To imply success. “So…are you keeping busy?” Yet in the asking we perpetuate the culture of busy. The culture of more. The culture of speed.

I used to answer “Yes, yes, soooo busy…and you?” They would, of course, nod and list the MANIA that was their afternoon. And the busy-one-upmanship would begin.

Then I stopped nodding yes. I started saying, “No. I’m not busy.”

The reactions varied – shock, confusion, jealousy, pity. They assumed I must not be successful. Or maybe I was sick. Or on sabbatical. None of which was true.

No. I’m not busy. And yes, my life is full. And these are the wonderful parts. And if you care to hear, these are the struggling parts today.

I began to unbusy myself. To stop adding more. To make an argument for slow within my day.

And you can too.

Yes, I realize you have commitments. To all kinds of people and places. So it might not change overnight. I’ve been at it for years.

And parts of it can actually change overnight.

Slow is just another pathway to presence.

I draw on the philosophy of the slow-movements popping up. For instance, the slow food movement showed us the value of cooking slow and eating slow.

That’s what vacation does for us. We eat slow. We talk slow. We dance slow.

We can create a little of that vacation zen by down-shifting the speed here and now.

So, how might that look today? Notice what jumps out of these seven-slow-suggestions:

  1. Can you slow the pace of one conversation?
  2. Finally say NO to multi-tasking. It’s out-dated.
  3. Can you slow the pace of your breath? Take 3 deep ones right now.
  4. Say NO to just one activity that is over-filling your plate this week. Create space for slow.
  5. Can you put down your phone? It’s not as important as you think.
  6. Slow the pace of one meal. Sit. Chew. Talk.
  7. Start your very own slow walking movement. Slow conversation movement. Even if you’re the only card-carrying member for now.

Maybe it means starting just a little earlier so there isn’t a need for speed. If we take away the rush we allow opportunity to breathe.

At the surface we crave social media, sugar, shopping – the 3Ss – or another distraction of your choice.

But underneath that we have a deeper craving for quiet, connection, calm.

Don’t wait for a vacation. Create that now. Today.

Breathe. Notice. Choose.

Did you know…

Rhonda delivers leadership training in-house. From a single half-day session to a full 12 part series on Conscious Leadership. Does your leadership team need a boost in engagement? Skill building in recovering when we’re triggered, conflict competence, and delegation best practices to name a few. More detail here. Or email Rhonda to arrange a phone chat to set it up for your workplace.

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