We live in a culture that seems to view being busy as the gold standard. If you aren’t complaining about how much you have to do, how busy you are or how you have 8 million places to be at the same time you are seen as a slacker.
How in the world did it get to that?
Being too busy takes a toll on us. Busy-ness leads to high levels of stress, disruptions in sleep, high blood pressure, relationship dysfunction, and numerous other issues. All leading to burnout and the inability to function.
One of the things I teach my clients is, if you want to get more done and be less busy, you need to start thinking differently about yourself.
3 Reasons to Think Differently about Yourself –
Self-Fulfilling Prophecy – Sociologist Robert Merton coined this phrase in the 1940’s. To simplify, the self-fulling prophecy means that the way we see ourselves is the way we will behave. That picture we have created in our heads of who we are leads us to act in accordance with that picture.
Thus, if you see yourself as someone who is a busy bee or a “hot mess” you will act in the way you picture people with these labels acting. This leads you to being scattered and scrambling to do everything even if it isn’t important.
Viewing yourself as how you would like to be will increase your dividends ten-fold. For example, picturing yourself as someone who is calm, cool and productive is more likely to result in you getting the important things done in your life and not worrying about simply being busy.
Comparison-itis – Comparing ourselves to others opens a host of self-esteem issues. In today’s world it is even easier to compare ourselves to others. We do it even when we aren’t really thinking about it. We scroll social media with thoughts like, ‘Oh look! The Jones are on vacation again. Aren’t they lucky!’ And no one wants to be thought of as the slacker because they aren’t as busy as everyone else.
The kicker here is that we know that what we see of people is not the whole story. When I first started getting more productive and taking time to enjoy my life, I would find myself complaining about how busy I was just so I could fit in. Then I would go home and wonder if I should be doing something, anything so I could be busy.
In the end, the only comparison you need to make is if you are doing better than you did yesterday.
Freedom – When we think differently of ourselves it is like we are giving ourselves permission to be who we want to be. We won’t be giving into comparing ourselves to others, we will be focusing on following that beacon of who we are really meant to be.
I’m not going to lie and say that making a change is just like flipping a switch. It can take some work. But when you have the guide of who your authentic self is, then you have already set up that path to lead you where you want to go. There isn’t hacking the bushes down figuring out where the trail might lead you. The path is crystal clear.
This realization that we can be the person we strive to be takes the shackles off. We no longer have to succumb to what others want us to be. Our self-esteem skyrockets because we are leading our way.
A lot of the problems we encounter, especially with how we handle productivity, is created in our heads. We need to find a way to freedom by changing the way we think about ourselves and comparing ourselves others. Only then will be free to travel the path that give us the happiness in our business and life that we deserve.