Let’s STOP Glorifying “Busy”!

Often, it feels like we’re living in a world, where being “busy” equals having success or being an important piece to the bigger puzzle, called Society.

Being “Busy” seems to be something we glorify and often something we constantly strive to be… It makes us feel successful, cool, important, needed, and often it gives us a false sense of job-security… “If they see me working this hard, they’ll never want to see me go”.

It’s almost as if being busy has become a way to be recognized and acknowledged as a human being… like we’re getting more and more addicted to that pad on the back, when we pull a hefty thirteen-hour day or an all-nighter.

We wear our business like a badge of honor and will proudly tell everyone in our lives how crazy busy, and hectic things are.

The taste of the “busy life”

In my architecture days, both when I was studying to become an architect, and when I worked for big companies, I really got the taste of the “busy life”.

I distinctly remember – I believe it was in my first month of introduction to the school of architecture – when I was introduced to the “need” and apparent expectations from the school.

One of my teachers proudly announced that; “If you want to be taken seriously and get good results at this school, you need to put your entire life into it… You need to live at your desk and at least sleep at it 1-2 times a week”!

And this expectation followed me throughout most of my time as an architect. At work, I would often work from 9am-10pm at night and have crazy deadlines.

I don’t want to complain, because I made the choice and I chose to be an architect!

But, I don’t understand why we push ourselves and others to strive for business and long hours, when so much research tells us working long hours and being busy leads to underperformance, sickness and often stress. It isn’t cool to be sick and stressed out!

There’s nothing sexy or glamorous about “being busy”. In fact, it’s something I believe we should steer away from, if we want to create any form of success.

We shouldn’t aim to be run off our feet, be stressed out or feel overwhelmed. Instead we should aim to move through our day with ease and grace… How’s that for sexy and successful?

Not enough time in the day

You might think; “That’s all good, but what about all the things I need to get done, but don’t have enough hours in the day for”?

Time for a truth bomb: It is a lie when we tell ourselves that we just need more hours in the day.

If we only had 36 hours in a day, we would have more time for work, to get done. Plus, we would also have time to relax and enjoy life.

But study after study shows us that even if we had more time in the day to get everything done, it wouldn’t help! It’s not about more TIME, it’s about your ENERGY.

You have a limited amount of cognitive energy each day

In fact, we have a decision-bank of about 200 decisions per day, regardless of how much time you have available and once you exceed that, your brain calls it quit for the day. It’s done!

Have you ever participated in a long and really intense meeting and by the time you get out, you’re just toast… you’re fried?

This is called ‘Cognitive Load’

Cognitive load is the cost of making decisions on your working memory. And when you max out your ‘Cognitive Load’, Decision Fatigue sets in.

Decision fatigue is a psychological condition, where you literally start making bad decisions, and studies show that you begin to work slower, make more mistakes and tend to become grumpier.

Unfortunately, our brain has no idea what the difference between an important decision and an unimportant decision is.

So, even the tiniest things, like debating what kind of sandwich we eat or what outfit we want to wear for the day, also counts as a decision, and ends up taxing your cognitive energy… energy that you could otherwise have used to get ahead at work faster.

The truth is that even if you had more hours during your day, you couldn’t use them as intended, because we have a set amount of decisions that we can use and we tend to use up our cognitive capacity, way before we run out of time.

Therefor we actually need to make better decisions with the time we have, instead of wasting more time making bad decisions that won’t get us anywhere.

Let’s stop glorifying “busy” once and for all, and instead focus on getting the important stuff done, in less time… while enjoying ourselves and have more time to live the life of our dreams.

If you want to know more about how to maximize your workday, get more done faster and have more time to spend on creating the life that you long for, then I’ve made a downloadable cheat sheet for you. Go to this link to download it. http://www.living-happy.com/lp-how-to-maximize-your-workday/

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