I’m going to start this post about the simple difference between being busy and productive because actually, they both mean different things. When I’m being “Productive” I hardly ever want to stop, I’m in the flow, I’m happy and I’m getting things done. When I’m being “Busy” I won’t stop, it’s like a wild addiction and I’m just running around craving even more.
I can only assume that I got into a flow of living like this and now I’m just so tangled in the web, I’ve forgotten where I started. I’m on a constant see-saw of wanting a day to myself, just to lounge around, read and let the world pass by. To booking in something at every available moment, addicted to the rush of “Places to go, people to see, things to do…”.
Alongside this, I’m a great believer in grabbing hold of opportunity when it arrises, I’m filled with an irrational fear that if I let the chance slip by, I won’t get another try. Which is another reason for my drive towards always being a little busier, than actually necessary? But, when I started to look into other reasons why I’m so busy, everything became a whole lot clearer…
It’s all about the Dopamine – Did you know that Dopamine a naturally produced drug in our brains is the main driver behind our constant busyness? Once we start releasing those feel-good emotions, we’re almost programmed to keep feeding that source.
I like to please people – I consider it a great compliment if someone wants to spend time with me, so I’ll do my upmost to accept most invites. Other times, I feel huge pressure, I hate saying no, and I’m terrible at confrontation, which isn’t the ideal mix of attributes for someone who is already overwhelmed.
If I’m not busy, I’ll have to make time for myself – Enough said really.
Being busy is my status symbol – The trouble is, at times society praises people who are busy as it’s perceived as a sign of success. We forget about the fact people burn out, we gloss over the damage to our health and well-being because we’re constantly chasing the feeling that we’re winning.
How can we beat the cycle? – From a personal point of view, I’m going to focus on being more productive and allow myself more downtime, rather than being constantly busy. If I am more productive, I’ll hopefully as a result become more efficient and therefore create more time for relaxation, self-care, and a more mindful outlook. I’m always going to be chasing those feel-good emotion’s, but it could well be time to look elsewhere, rather than battling with inevitable burn out.
How can we look to become more productive?