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What’s the Cost of Busy-ness

Busyness Does Not Equal Happiness

Busy-ness has become a badge of honor. Besides turning us into Godzilla mom (or dad or friend), there is a definite cost to all this busy-ness. Have you ever stopped to think of the consequences of being busy? I did some research on the subject, and I here’s what I learned. Busy-ness costs us…

1. Connection.

When you are stuck in the cycle of busy-ness, you:

  • have less time for family and friends.
  • experience a lack of presence (even when you do make time for others).
  • find yourself unable to enjoy the time because of too much to do
  • turn to social media for numbing and to escape the stress.

In fact, in a study conducted by Princeton University on seminary students found that 90% of those who felt extreme time-urgency and pressure to meet a deadline walked right past someone who was in desperate need of help. The take-away: busy-ness and stress rob us of connection and the very things that make our lives meaningful.

2. Money.

In the more literal sense of the word “cost,” there is a true financial cost to being busy, too. When you are busy, you are more likely to:

  • Miss payments, be charged late fees, forget to cancel extra subscriptions, and have limited time for bill review.
  • Eat out or purchase convenience foods which are 5x more expensive than eating meals at home or food you prepared yourself.
  • Let that gym membership go unused.

For example, have you signed up for that “special deal” on cable or internet that requires you call every 6 months to keep the payments at a manageable level? You can quickly spend an extra $50/month on your tv if you don’t have the time to do a bill review or call to update your subscription (that’s $300 every 6 months or $600 per year!).

Also, the subscriptions you put in place to outsource things or make your life easier also require attention and management. That Blue Apron membership or milk delivery is great…until you forget to cancel them and you’re on a two-week business trip.

3. Health.

When it comes to your health, busy-ness is certainly not in your favor. Busy-ness causes chronic stress and leads to:

  • Increased cortisol levels. Excess cortisol in the body has been linked to acne, abdominal fat and weight gain, insomnia, anxiety, depression, digestive problems, heart disease, and more.
  • Limited or no time for exercise, healthy eating, or self care.
  • Eating excess calories. You are more likely to eat out and reach for comfort foods when you are busy leading to up to 1,000 excess calories per week (that’s 10 lbs. of weight gain/year).

As a health & productivity coach, I’ve found that busy-ness and stress are the root (or underlying) cause of many health and lifestyle issues my clients are trying to improve. Once we tackle the busy-ness and stress, the ability to lose weight, exercise, be more present, prepare healthy meals, and just plain enjoy life becomes much easier. This was even the case for me!

4. Productivity.

Finally, busy-ness impedes our productivity. Here’s the irony: we are often staying busy because we associate it with being productive. This is not the case. Busy-ness causes:

  • An inability to focus on tasks. With so much swirling in your brain and no time for transition, you aren’t able to give the task-at-hand your full attention, limiting your creativity, problem-solving, and relationship skills.
  • You to be a “Jack of all trades, master of none.” By spreading yourself thin, you’re doing a lot of things with mediocrity instead of doing a few things exceptionally.
  • Rushing as well as being late to meetings and appointments. Talk about high cortisol levels!
  • Missed deadlines. You are more forgetful when you are busy and rushing, so deadlines fly out the window! Plus, the busiest people also tend to be the most over-committed people.

How Do You Stop the Cycle of Busy-ness?

The habit of being busy can be tricky to break, but certainly not impossible. It requires:

  • identification of your patterns and increased awareness on how you are spending your time and energy.
  • shifts to your mindset and habits towards doing less.
  • focusing on the vital few items that must be in place to feel present as well as to maximize your time and energy. 

I’ve seen this system work time and time again for my clients (and even in my own life), and now I can share it with you!

Do Less, Be More Coaching Program

My Do Less, Be More program is a 6-week group coaching program where I take you through my “busy-ness cleanse” so you can take back your time, energy, and joy.

The next round ofstarts October 23 and will be held on Wednesday’s through November 27. Space is limited, and I won’t be offering this discounted price again in the future. Don’t miss your chance to Do Less and Be More!

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My Journey to a Life with More Intention

My journey to a more intentional life

Summer break with my kids has been full of joy. I feel like I’ve really embraced the idea of living with intention and mindfulness. I had a mix of time with each of my children individually, as well as together.  We also spent time with friends. I even had some time for myself to work, exercise, and rest. Today, I reflect on this accomplishment and how far our family has come. It hasn’t been perfect (and sometimes downright unpleasant).  I am really proud that we have started living out our values and putting time and energy into the things that truly matter to us.

Spinning Out of Control

I’d like to say that I woke up one morning and just decided to embrace the idea of living with intention. But – that is not the case. Almost three years ago, things in our life felt like they were more than I could handle. My son had been hospitalized and in the ICU for almost a week due to RSV at the age of 10 months. Then a couple of months later, we learned that my daughter had celiac disease. This diagnosis caused us to re-look at everything we consumed and change the way we experienced food. All while we were both trying to manage two full-time careers in the corporate world. Weekends were being spent trying to run a household – groceries, yard work, laundry, and hopefully a little time to spend having fun. It was a very difficult time for our family.

Something Had to Change

It was at that moment that I realized something had to change. I felt like life was “happening to me” instead of me making my life happen. I had fallen victim to our routine. I was stuck.  Not to mention – it just seemed like something was missing.  I knew it was time to step up and make some changes. But I was scared. I had thoughts of changing my career to something that fueled my passion years before. I also knew I wanted something that was flexible so I could do more of what mattered to me as a mom and wife. And I knew that I needed the time and energy to devote to our family’s health.  This was not sustainable in our current situation.

Trust the Process

The process I went through required me to look at different aspects of our life and get really clear about what I wanted for myself and my family. I had some tough conversations with my husband, and our ideas of health and happiness were not always the same. However, we stuck with it in pursuit of something different for our lives. As I’ve embarked on my journey to have my own health coaching practice, I get to witness inspiring stories about others who are embracing the opportunity to do things with intention.

Impact on My Health

My Journey to a More Intentional Life

My change to living with more intention had another result. Slowing down and taking stock of what was important really impacted my health.  Reprioritizing my time and energy towards my values allowed me to take care of myself. I no longer felt so anxious each evening when I put my kids to bed. My evenings spent eating bowlfuls of cereal or sleeves of cookies in front of the tv to ease my anxiety started to dwindle. I reconnected with fitness in a way that was really rejuvenating. And the weight I’d been trying to lose for years finally started coming off. I realized the “weight” was a lot more than I ever imagined it was.

Brave, Afraid, and Alive

My Journey to a More Intentional Life

I am truly grateful that things are coming together as we hoped they would. It hasn’t all been easy or even fun, but I feel like we are shaping the life we want. I still get scared of what is to come or if I’ll rethink my decisions in the future. However, I think Brene Brown sums it up best in her book The Gifts of Imperfection:

“One minute you’ll pray that the transformation stops, and the next minute you’ll pray that it never ends. You’ll also wonder how you can feel so brave and so afraid at the same time. At least that’s how I feel most of the time…brave, afraid, and very, very alive.”

What’s In Store For You?

Are you ready to take that step into something different but aren’t sure where to start?  I’d love to help.  Schedule a free discovery session to learn more.  Sometimes feeling more alive means being brave enough to take that first step toward the life you’ve been dreaming of.