Friday, April 15, 2011

The Habit of Busyness

I am wondering the reason why I am so busy.  What am I doing with my time?  Do I really need to be doing everything that I am involved in?  More importantly, if I am so overwhelmed with life, why am I participating in so many things? 

To be able to do anything about this, I need to know why I have this habit of busyness. 

Moms have a lot to do, that’s a given.  But I am talking about the extras that throw me over the edge, the things I may be able to do something about.  The things in life that throw me...

So I decided to take a look at some of the things that may be at the root causes of busyness.

1. Feeling guilty saying no to people.

2. Living a level above one's means and having to keep up with that financial pace.

3. Busyness may bring a feeling of importance.  It can be exciting.  It can give the busy person a feeling of purpose.

4. Perfectionism.  A desire to do it all and do it really well and a difficulty delegating for fear it won’t be completed a certain way.

5. Busyness may mask pain. 

Could my problem be “all of the above”?

Mmmm, let's see...

1.Do I feel guilty saying no to people?

Yes, I do feel guilty saying no to people.  I don’t want to disappoint them.  I am also flattered when they want to spend time with me.  I want to be friends with everyone.  But being friends with everyone takes a lot of time.  Is that even possible?  I am finding it to be wearing on my family.

2. Do we live above our means?

Well, I guess I do shop at Ross Dress for Less a little too often.  I like the mall.  I buy a lot of shoes, but that is because I have bunions and my feet hurt in all my shoes, so I keep buying them to find that perfect pair.  I think that that perfect pair is a set of orthopedics.  Maybe buying myself a pair of orthopedics would save me a lot of money.  I would only need one pair of shoes.  I would look like a grandma wearing them, but at least I would be comfortable. 

We do have a lot of bills, and that may increase when we decide to buy a house. 

3. Does it make me feel important?

Of course!  I feel like a doctor when my phone is constantly going off.  Um, excuse me while I take this call.  I have been expecting it.  Oh, text!  Someone loves me and wants to talk to me.  A new email!  Whoohoo!  I got mail!  My adrenaline starts to flow.  Did somebody say my name on Facebook?  Stimulating!

I am a little social bird.  I like to laugh and make people laugh.  I love people and want to be with them constantly!  Fun!  Fun!  Fun!  Keep it coming.  Play dates.  Coffee dates.  Library dates.  Beach dates.  Oh and don’t forget Girls Night Out!  Knowing people, being loved by people, being in constant contact with them makes me feel important. 

Yah, I think I have a major problem with this one.

4. Do I have a problem with perfectionism?  Is it difficult for me to delegate, not do it all myself?

Nah, I don’t think I have a problem with this one.

5. Am I busy because I have pain that I want to be distracted from?

My grandma, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s, had a stroke, and her health began to fade fast.  Her body began to shut down slowly, and then after time, it shut down all together.  During this time of uncertainty of where we are moving to, I am dealing with the death of my grandmother as well.  I don’t want to feel the pain, therefore, I distract myself.

So I may have some issues to bring before the Lord.

This habit of busyness has gone on too long.

It is time to revamp my schedule.

I am interested.  What are your root causes of busyness?


  1. Good one, All that resonates with me. Busyness for one has always been an escape for me. But on top of that the biggest root at this stage in my life is trying to be everything to everyone.

    I work a bunch, more lately, I want to help bring in money etc. (but no nanny- insert major juggling)

    Despite that work I'm determined it not interfere with being a good mom, so I still volunteer at schools to be that mom.

    Your not good to your church community if you don't help out... so i volunteer in childcare.

    I want and love my bible study so we lead and host it... it's one thing I actually felt God lead us to put on our plate... and it's been blessed.

    I still want to be the mom and wife that gets laundry done, keeps the house SORTA clean, and cooks good meals for her family.

    I still want to be the friend that helps out her friends and spends time with them.

    I still am an information hound... .love news, research, learning and am always obsessing on something.

    and I'm pregnant with our fourth child.

    Maybe I'm insane? If not I'll probably get there eventually. Not even sure how to simplify at this point. But praying about it. I was not made to be all things to all people.

    -elizabeth j

  2. Wow. You do have a lot. It is hard to know what to cut when it is all important.

  3. My roots would be the "shoulds"... doing things I think I should, or like you said, feeling guilty to say "no". Another root would be the "feeling important"... I think busyness is a special badge in our communities. We all parade it around, proud of it in some twisted way. We complain while actually we are kinda, (consciously or unconciously) bragging of it. Instead, maybe we should feel embarrassed by it. Another of my roots would be "what people think" which is too terribly tied to the top two (shoulds and importance/value). Hmm... Yes, there are a few roots in my/this silly heart that drive toward busyness. Thanks for asking. And, thanks for sharing.

  4. I always feel like I'm going to miss out on something if I say no. Am I missing out on a deeper relationship with someone, a fun memory or will I feel selfish saying no to something in order to say yes to my family! Janna we are so totally alike, I was telling matt just last night how your posts really talks to me. I always tell him how tired I am and how the best days of my week are the day we spend just the 3 of us with nothing planned out (which rarely happens). He always follows that statement with, then stop planning things. But I have yet to find a way to say, "no I'm sorry we do not have time to have dinner with you or talk on the phone with you". Who do you spend time with? Who do you not? All the people in our lives are amazing people, how do I say no to them? It's something I always think about. Even this morning, looking at my calendar, I get a little worked up with how many things we have coming up. When will I learn? How will I do it? And at what cost is my "best say yes" attitude ....

  5. I feel like I'm going to miss out by saying, "no." That is often what will keep me way too busy and miss the good in what should be. So glad to meet you! I have a surprise for you over at my blog on Wednesday. You'll have to check it out! Blessings, Cole

  6. Stephanie and Jenna,

    Your comments are so thought provoking. I love your candidness and the wisdom behind it.

  7. I'm happy because you have bunions. Now I know : you are a girl, a real girl ! a pretty girl but with bunion.
    Maybe i use your feet to cook a good oignon soup !! No it's a jok

    Stéphanie from Paris