I have an acquaintance who wears busyness like a hair shirt—a scratchy one. It gives her something to complain about, to be dramatic over, and probably to boost her esteem in the eyes of others who routinely make comments such as, “Oh my, she works so hard! She’s always so busy!” Mm-hmmm.

I happen to know that she also has numerous staff to take care of business, enjoys several vacations a year, and sips cappuccinos some afternoons while she watches television. She does work hard, but is not nearly as “busy” as she would have everyone believe.

Our culture has adopted the concept of busyness, and of being too busy, almost as a goal.

People brag about being “sooo busy” as though it’s an accomplishment to be envied.

What kind of crazy is that?

I’m not pointing fingers here. I’ve been guilty of membership in the ‘so busy’ club myself. I got to boast about how busy I was to anyone who would listen. But in real life, busy equalled overwork, overwhelm, stress, and finally adrenal fatigue, which landed me flat on my back for a long time.

Needless to say, I’m no longer a fan of being busy, especially for the sake of announcing it for attention or sympathy. Instead, I’ve become picky.

Now, picky can have negative connotations so call it prioritizing if it makes you feel better. I prefer picky. I’m at a stage in my life (and after several years recovering from adrenal fatigue) when I don’t want to waste my time on things that don’t matter much.

I want to have my time count for what I truly value. When a child is a picky eater, she wants to eat only what she loves and leave the rest.

I’ve come up with a few suggestions for how you too can be picky, not busy.

  • Know where you’re headed. Go in that direction.
  • View everything that comes along through the lens of, “Does this take me toward where I want to go, or not?”
  • Ask yourself if you love it. If you don’t, ask yourself why you’re doing it.
  • Eliminate what doesn’t serve your goals or make you joyful.
  • Spend time doing nothing. Sit on the porch and watch the birds. Lie on your bed and daydream. Go for a stroll.
  • Be picky about how you spend your time and energy based on your return on the investment.

Stop trying to impress other people with your busyness.

Instead, make them wonder why you are so calm and peaceful.

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