How do you escape the cult of busy?

When I follow up on my clients, I quite often hear that the 30 minutes a day exercises that are required after a Dyslexia Correction Program couldn’t be fit in – “we were just so busy recently”, I hear them say, “there was the school athletics carnival, the soccer game and practice, a couple of friends’ birthdays …” and then there are of course the parents busyness on top of it, the restructuring of the company, the move, the relatives visiting. When people are busy, they really ARE BUSY.

Most people do want to see a change in their children, they also know that it requires practicing the new tools and keeping up the work for at least these 30 minutes for at least a few months – and they understand that it’s no different to building muscles and getting into their fitness regime. Going to the Gym once a month wouldn’t lead to high expectations, right?

When I ask, “Do you work out?”, many people actually say ‘yes’. Most people have a list of priorities that are unshakable. They wouldn’t leave the house without breakfast, or having brushed their teeth. Why not exercise their mind? Why is it so hard to prioritise the mind in the same way? They have no control over their thoughts; cannot visualise at will, but are almost surprised how or what they can see or feel. We never get asked to do so at school or by our parents. Nobody teaches us, what’s important and how to change from busy to productive. How do we create these new habits?

So how do you escape that cult of ‘busy’?

Start with small steps. For one day, be mindful of every daily activity. Consider each item a choice and decide proactively if it’s essential or simply a habit you can eliminate or do in half the time. Next, stop boasting of busy-ness. Then, figure out what you want to accomplish with your day and begin doing it. Put your time and energy where you want it to be.

If you’ve always wanted to read, find five minutes each day this week. Next week, find ten. Take it at your own pace. But do it. You’ll start to realize that your life is far more under your control than you thought.

And so, when someone asks how you are, you might answer, “great” instead of “busy.” You might even pause and smile, because you have a second to spare, and also because you mean it.