Are you really that busy?
Oh hello darling and welcome back to Adjustment month. All month long I will delve into the topics that cause issues in all our lives, and show you ways to adjust this behaviour and bring some positive outcomes to all our lives. Today I want to tackle something we all say with increasing frequency, and that is “I’m too busy”.
When was the last time you said that? Pretty recently I’m sure. I noticed that busyness was affecting some of the reach of my content, IGTVs were rarely watched passed the first minute, ensuring that four to nine minutes of my time was being wasted because no one was watching.
I then began to think about other media, such as podcasts, and so many amazing people have podcasts that I have been meaning to listen to. Yet I can’t remember the last time I gave myself the time to listen to any of them. In a recent conversation, I said I didn’t have the time to listen to an hour-long podcast, which is just not true.
When we say we are too busy, or we don’t have the time, what we actually mean is that we don’t have the attention span to give one thing our undivided attention. When was the last time you just did one thing at a time? Typical behaviour is pairing things, like getting ready and watching YouTube, or TV and scrolling on your phone. What about TV and answering DMs. Even a relaxing bath is disrupted, paired with online shopping, and perhaps a delve into TikTok.
The thing is we have the same 24 hours a day to fill our time with, and in 2020 our schedules have never been more jam-packed, but in reality, this is an optical illusion. We have just added in more things that distract us, and in essence, we are stretching our attention.
To stop you over-stretching your attention span, I have poured my personal experience into a few steps that can help you feel less busy.
1. Do one thing at a time
It is the simplest way to approach attention span and can make a difference. If you are watching a great show, then put your phone down and give it your full attention. If you want to scroll Instagram just do that and watch the TV later.
I say this all the time, but the smallest changes can make the biggest difference.
2. It has an off button
I know how hard it is not to constantly check your phone, I feel mine calling to me ALL the time. I used to be able to leave it in another room and not check it, but recently I have been too attached. With a large amount of my phone use being work-related, I decided to treat it accordingly.
So I have a phone curfew, and at 8 pm I turn it off and don’t turn it back on until 8 am the next day. This is a great deterrent, and even when I feel the urge to go and check it, lifting it up, and seeing that the phone is not responding is enough of a reminder that it can wait until tomorrow.
3. Prioritise your time
We all have things we want to do and enjoy. However, we also are aware that we need to give all of these things our fullest attention. Audit your time on your phone, or the thing that makes you feel the busiest. I spend most of my time on Instagram, so when I see video content I want to see, I save it and slot that in when I am having a break from my laptop, a snack or when I am making a cup of tea.
For podcasts and longer bits of media, I schedule chunks of time, usually at the weekend, when I have less to do. Prioritising all the things I want to do, means that I actually enjoy them when I consume them.
4. Are you procrastinating?
In your audit of time-consuming things, keep track of things that you do that just wastes your time. There is a time and place for procrastination, it’s normal and healthy. However, if you already feel busy, then you don’t have time to waste!
The time you spend just doing nothing easily adds up, and could be used as a chunk of time to do something productive - so keep an eye on what you’re doing!
5. Be kind to yourself
Life is hard, and in reality how hard to we have to be on ourselves. I don’t want you to beat yourself up over this. Guilt is an awful emotion and has no place in how we treat ourselves. So take all of this advice with a pinch of salt.
You know what works for you, so always keep that at the forefront of your thinking.
So the next time you go to say you’re too busy, I want you to really think about that, and perhaps adjust the way you think about your time and commitments. We’ve all just become overwhelmed with media, and we don’t have to feel like this.
This is a different way to view your life and hopefully will help you positively adjust your behaviour. Join me next week when Adjustment month continues, where we will look at guilt and the way we treat ourselves!
Shot by Ruth Pechey