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Blog

A ban on being busy

Rachel Estapa

I have an issue *GASP* -- I over-extend myself too much. Like, way too much. Most of the time I think I can juggle a really hectic, over-flowing schedule filled with extremely interesting & fun things. The most common question I get asked is "How do you manage to do all that you do?!" I usually reply with something about being good at time management (which is true) -- but really, I've a hard time saying no, take on way too much responsibility, and don't want to let people down. I'm a "helper" at the core, but it sometimes leaves me feeling exhausted, run-down and out of juice for the things I really really care about. So over the past few months I've been doing a hard inventory of my responsibilities, my goals and my passions to see where the imbalances lie. Too often, I was putting other things in front of my own personal priorities and it was costing me the most important thing of all -- my sense of inner-balance.

But it's very hard to let go of things go. But in order to regain balance, you must let go. It's a paradox - but one you cannot think yourself to understanding. You have to feel it. You have to feel that release of duty, obligation, selfishness, guilt, expectation, disappointment and even pride.

In four years I've changed a lot (who doesn't?) but was also starting to become a hypocrite -- sharing insights w/ my clients on ways to approach how they invest themselves, and then turn around and not heed for myself. How could I be a truthful coach and not walk my talk? It was really getting to me.

Inside, I felt all my conflicting demands and I'm really sensitive to that tug. And every time I'd try to justify why it was OK to fill up my schedule despite my interest fading for it, my inner voice would remind me..Rach, you know what you're doing right now, don't you...

And when it actually came to time finally relax, I was so guilt-ridden that I "should" be doing something that I never allowed myself the opportunity to just be. Doing nothing meant I was wasteful.

So I made changes.  I stepped back from responsibilities that were no longer in-line with my personal goals and priorities. I carved out more personal time to do things that are purely for my own well-being. I took time to make space for personal relationships and hobbies. But I still have to let go of the need to do it all.

The whole concept of Undercurrent is knowing what your energy is being spent on and answering the question "Do I feel energized or drained?" Lots of people are busy -- but busy doesn't mean fulfilling. Busy is actually closest to its opposite -- idle. Even though I was go-go-go, I felt idle in the areas I wanted to focus on most.

"Manage your energy -- not your time."

Join me -- I'm putting a ban on being busy...and it all starts with a perception shift.

X --Rachel