Here’s the truth. I am a list fanatic. I love structuring my day way in advance so I have no surprises. And I can spend hours organizing, planning and making lists. Since early school days, I always tried to learn and adapt more and more time management skills so I could accomplish more. After all there are only 24 hours in a day and so much to be done!
But no matter what tips and skills I adopted to manage my time and days, it seemed like I was never satisfied. And whenever someone asked me “How’re you doing?”, my first reaction would be “Ughhh, busy busy”.
And in reality, I was always busy. Even though I was living by myself and had no responsibilities other than “me”, my days were always packed with things to do and items to take care of that I hardly had any time to breathe!
It was only in the past few years, when I started on this journey of inner transformation, that many things came to light. And I realized, all these time management skills and tools that our busy world keeps coming up with, they are merely a band-aid. These solutions only help us eradicate the symptoms while completely ignoring the underlying cause. These skills and tools are doomed to fail because none of them shed light on the most important thing. And that thing is our subconscious thoughts, beliefs, fears, stories! Since uncovering our subconscious requires digging deep and facing our shadows, which, let’s face it, none of us want to do, we tend to ignore them. But our reality is to a great extent an outcome of our subconscious. So unless we uncover our subconscious, no external solution would truly work.
I was shocked to discover the root cause of my busyness. It was my subconscious belief that I'm more worthy when I keep busy. But when I uncovered it, I was able to overcome this belief system. And I continue to do so because it's so deeply ingrained that I need to weed it out over and over again.
So I encourage you busy peeps to ask this really important question:
“At the subconscious level, are you validating your existence by what you're doing and how much you're doing? Do you believe deep down that you’re worthy only when you keep running around and chasing life?”
Here's the thing. Our conditioning, our society, our environment and the expectations put on us since childhood demand a lot from us. Our days are filled with activities as soon as we get into pre-school. Growing up, children hardly have any time to explore and wander because they are either at school, or taking some classes, or studying. So much structure and discipline is helpful to a certain extent but too much of it kills their creativity and spontaneity.
Over the years it gets ingrained in us that we need to be always "doing" or "performing" to be successful. We are judged if we can't manage our time and keep up with everything that’s going on. And so we keep learning new time management skills and tools – thinking we're doing something wrong and this “tool” or “skill” is definitely going to work.
The society imprints on our subconscious that staying super busy is the “main ingredient” to be successful in life.
We are conditioned to believe that we should be participating in as many activities and organizations as our 24 hour day can accommodate to survive the cut throat competition.
Only then we'll be a valuable part of our society – paying our dues.
Only when we're busy, our existence on this planet and in the country we belong to – is validated.
Only when we're busy, we're performing our duties rightfully so and deserve to be a part of the society. Only when we keep “doing”, we're an asset and a valuable resource.
Only when these conditions of “busyness” are met, the society as a whole acknowledges our existence and approves it.
So we keep running, being busy, learning new tools, waiting for a "miracle tool" to solve all our busyness problems.
That being said, before you read anymore about time management skills, or create another to-do list, I challenge you to do some real work, do some digging and ask yourself a few important questions. If you’re honest with yourself and uncover your subconscious stories and beliefs, it’s going to free you from this cycle of busyness for good. Feel free to take a pen and paper and journal your thoughts and reactions.
I want you to ask yourself –
Am I keeping super busy doing all these things because “I want” to or only because “I have to”.
Do I believe if I don’t do “something” all the time than I ‘m not good enough or responsible enough?
Do I judge someone if they tell me they’re “taking it easy” ? Does the first thing that comes to my mind is that they’re lazy or have it easy or born with a silver spoon? How do I feel about that?
If you take time to dig deep, trust me, these questions will bring about some of your subconscious insecurities and fears. And once you decide to overcome those, no more you'll be stuck in this never ending cycle of busyness.
Another subconscious fear I uncovered was "the fear to be by myself". I remember many years back I used to keep myself so occupied because I was afraid to spend any single minute by myself doing nothing. It scared me because I didn’t want to face the sadness I was feeling in my personal life. I worked long hours, socialized, learned new things, and every free minute I had I was on the phone. Every single minute by my own self reminded me of the void I was feeling in my life. And over scheduling my days totally worked. I was so exhausted by the time I was home that I had no time to grieve or even accept what I was going through.
So if you spend every single minute working or engaged in some external sensory gratification such as listening to music, watching TV or checking your phone, ask yourself – is this busyness my way out? It is something I use to shield myself from the fears, the miseries and the sadness my heart is feeling?
Take a few moments to think - “Do I keep myself so occupied because at a deeper level I'm scared of being all by myself?”
By no means I am saying that staying busy is bad for you or completing your chores is something you should avoid. By no means I want anyone of you to give up everything, use these questions as an excuse and become lazy. I know busyness is good – we all are here to educate ourselves, perform our duties to the best or our abilities, take care of ourselves and our loved ones and to live a good quality of life that is full of happiness. And it takes juggling many things at once. It takes time, effort, commitment and persistence to do that. Time management skills and tools provide us that structure and discipline. Staying busy creates that focus for us and time management helps us reach our goals.
I get that.
All I am saying is that many times we don't want to acknowledge and accept what’s going on in our heart and cover it up by external gratifications or work. But we need to look at these subconscious fears, insecurities, beliefs and these inner bruises, so we can resolve them and start living an honest and peaceful life.
Being busy does not have to mean overburdening yourself with things that you have no time to reflect.
Creativity happens when we have time to go within. Great ideas come along when we give room for our intuition to grow and we can listen when it's talking to us.
You can be busy and accomplish whatever it is on your to-do list and yet carve out time to take care of yourself.
But before making anymore external changes, it’s important to shift your focus and go within first. Today everything is so connected and there are so many time management skills and tools available for us to manage our lives. But these tools only work when we have dived deep inside first and looked at the real challenges. Otherwise it is only a temporary fix.
My hope is that you take some time to answer these questions. I know in my heart that if you are reading this article, you are tired of the way things are and are ready to break this cycle of busyness you are stuck in. You are tired of hearing about the “latest” time management skills because the solutions never last. And I know in my heart that answering these questions will give you some insight.
Share your thoughts, stories and comments below. I would love to hear how you overcome your everyday challenges. And if this article helped you but you are unable to uncover your inner beliefs, I invite you to Request a Session with me. It’s never too late to start changing your life, is it?
Do stay tuned to read my next article, where I share with you one simple practical way to help you make room for important things in your life!
Many blessings from my creative soul to yours,