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  • Sharon Borland

#22 Busy Being Busy?

Can you see value in being less busy? Is your conversation encouraging others to be even busier than they already are?

A recent conversation within our online Community has focused on slowing down from the busyness many of us experience. There’s much that could be said about the ‘good’ or ‘bad’ of slowing down or being busy but that’s not what I want to consider. My focus is:

  • To have some time for me to slow down – to pause, reflect, examine

  • When I’m busy, to be busy doing what’s important to me

  • To encourage and support others to do the same.

This got me thinking about whether my conversations actually line up with these or whether I’m unintentionally encouraging people to busyness and/or discouraging them from slowing down. I’ve also been wondering how much I’m influenced to be busy by those around me.

It seems to me that we don’t need to say very much to communicate things to others that we didn’t intend. A fairly common question I ask a friend or acquaintance goes like this: “What have you been up to?” Yet I don’t want them to think that they need to have done something to be of value or interest. I would like to spend less time focused on conversation about ‘doing’ and more time on ‘being’ - about how they are, what’s going on in their relationships, what they’re struggling with and where they’re seeing joy in their life. In order to achieve this, I’m going to be more intentional about creating opportunities to talk about these things.

I’ve also been considering the way I talk about others and what this communicates about busyness. It’s much more common for me to honour the busy person than the one who takes time to ‘be’. I can hear myself saying things like “She’s amazing, I don’t know how she does it all.” I don’t remember celebrating or affirming anyone for taking time to rest or to think but it’s so good for us all to do this regularly.

Another consideration is what I say about myself. I’ve noticed that I often provide a list of things I’ve been doing (not just one) and people might say things like “You must be busy”. I find it so easy to just agree with them, but more recently I’ve told them that I have a pretty good balance of being busy as well as having time to go for a walk or a bike ride or to sit and think, pray or read. I notice, however, that I don’t find this comfortable, sometimes I even feel guilty about having time to choose what to do when it seems everyone else is rushing around being busy.

Could slowing down to speed up be helpful at times in your life?


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