The topic of busyness has been coming up a lot not just in the articles I’ve been chancing upon but I have also been catching myself personally, absentmindedly falling into the busyness of life and realising how much control I’ve lost over my own life just because I’ve not set out clear priorities and boundaries for myself.
“If you don’t decide what your priorities are, your priorities will decide you.” -Candace Johnson
Take a minute to sit down & write out your priorities and practically what is required for them to happen.
Thought I’d share the couple articles that have really enlightened me and motivated me to want to begin to start a whole new lifestyle of quietness…..
“In repentance and rest is your salvation, in quietness and trust is your strength”(Isaiah 30:15)
What happened to a world in which we can sit with the people we love so much and have slow conversations about the state of our heart and soul, conversations that slowly unfold, conversations with pregnant pauses and silences that we are in no rush to fill?
How did we create a world in which we have more and more and more to do with less time for leisure, less time for reflection, less time for community, less time to just… be?
Somewhere we read, “The unexamined life is not worth living… for a human.” How are we supposed to live, to examine, to be, to become, to be fully human when we are so busy?
This disease of being “busy” (and let’s call it what it is, the dis-ease of being busy, when we are never at ease) is spiritually destructive to our health and wellbeing. It saps our ability to be fully present with those we love the most in our families, and keeps us from forming the kind of community that we all so desperately crave.
In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is yourhaal?
What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.
I teach at a university where many students pride themselves on the “study hard, party hard” lifestyle. This might be a reflection of many of our lifestyles and our busy-ness — that even our means of relaxation is itself a reflection of that same world of overstimulation. Our relaxation often takes the form of action-filled (yet mindless) films, or violent and face-paced sports.
I don’t have any magical solutions. All I know is that we are losing the ability to live a truly human life.
“It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than it does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.”
How is the state of your heart today?
Let us insist on a type of human-to-human connection where when one of us responds by saying, “I am just so busy,” we can follow up by saying, “I know, love. We all are. But I want to know how your heart is doing.”
When we are constantly giving ourselves away and we stay in the context of our gifting, we can lose awareness of our inner world.
Withdrawing is a reset, a refuel, and a solidifying our identity in God.
If we remain in the crowds for the fame and notoriety, we trade the life God wants to give us in the withdrawing for the temporary pleasures of the people. We sacrifice our needs for the needs of everyone else, leaving us dried out like an old fish on a hot summer’s day, unable to help anyone.
It is our responsibility to intentionally and mindfully slowdown, discover downtime, and create extra space.
- Wake 15 minutes earlier
- Get outdoors – even for a short walk
- Flip the off switch
- Salvage the commute
- Take a longer lunch
- Enjoy an afternoon tea
- Set aside time for meditation
- Take a longer shower
- Test the Pomodoro Technique
The Pomodoro Technique is a time management method developed by Francesco Cirillo in the late 1980s based upon the idea that our minds work best in 25-minute bursts. The technique goes like this: Decide on a task to be done; set a timer for 25 minutes; work on the task until the timer rings; take a short 3-5 minute break; and every four intervals take a longer break (15–30 minutes). Personally, I have found the technique to be more advantageous during some projects/days than others. But if your drive to succeed is constantly keeping you from slowing down, this time management technique may be helpful in both creating space and accomplishing more.
- Remove mindless internet
- Turn off notifications
Consider that when we embrace solitude…
- We intentionally remove the influence of others for period of time.
- We intentionally remove the expectations of others.
- We are able to hear our own heart speak.
- We find rest and refreshment.
- We discover that others can live without us.
- We find that the world does not rest on our shoulders.
- We can adequately reflect on our past and chart our future.
- We break the cycle of busyness in our lives.
- We become better equipped to show patience with others.
- We feed our souls.
- Give yourself enough time
- Schedule time
- Find a calm location
- Take as little as possible with you
- Allow your mind to wander
- Don’t quit just because you don’t like what you find
- Don’t worry if you fall asleep. Your mind may be trying to tell you something
Because God often speaks with a small voice that is drowned out by the world’s noise, we can’t hear it until we intentionally listen for it.
Give solitude a chance. You’ve got nothing to lose. And your life to gain back.
“Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)
Here is what Solomon said about lazy people; “He who is slack in his work is brother to him who destroys.” (Proverbs 18:9)
1. Encourage others instead of criticizing them.
2. Be at peace with not having everything “figured out.”
3. Prioritize people over possessions.
4. Take time to unplug and rest.
5. Use struggles to become better and not bitter.
6. Do good for those who can’t repay.
7. Choose to be thankful.