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Which type of ‘busy’ are you?

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There are a few different “busy”personalities. Learning which type you are may help you break your busy habit.

Is being busy a habit? Or is it something more?

During periods of forced ‘downtime’ one of the biggest challenges is the change of mindset this requires. If you’re in the habit of being busy, it’s very difficult to be anything but, and be comfortable. 

But you can use these periods as a chance to reflect on just why it is difficult to stop, rest and relax and to be OK with it. 

While the constant need to fill your time with productive activities to ‘get stuff done’ may never disappear, by identifying which type of busy you are can help you to prioritise your time, keeping a regular reserve for rest.

7 types of busy

Here are some different types of busy, adapted from the Soul Sisters Empowerment Group that may explain the motivation, as well as the personal cost of being busy. 

1.Busy-ness as a source of pride

This is where a hectic schedule provides a sense of significance and importance, and often brings the admiration of those around you. Being busy is part of your sense of self-worth, even if it takes its toll on you emotionally and physically.

It may be difficult to find balance, if you become dependent on a constant need to do everything (and the subsequent recognition) as a confidence boost.

2.‘The Martyr’

You feel like you really can’t trust anyone else to complete a task up to your high standards, so you may as well do it right yourself the first time. This type of martyr attitude can create a load of suffering for those around you at work and at home, as well as for yourself.

3. Busy as a distraction

This is when being busy with minor tasks becomes a distraction to dealing with important issues in your life. Whether it’s a difficult relationship, an unrewarding job or some other task that feels so over whelming that it is easier to focus on the little things rather than tackle life changes head on. This can go on indefinitely as you invent excuses. 

4. Comfort zone busy

This is when you stay busy with the little things in life – the normal everyday tasks that are easy – rather than try something new. Being busy like this is the easy way because change is scary, confronting and ultimately you may fail.

You are comfortable where you are, and even though you long for something new or better, the fear tells you that you are too busy to try, so you have an excuse to stay exactly where you are. 

5. Unorganised busy

Rushing around but not achieving anything does not make you busy. It just means you are unorganised. If you spend more time looking for lost items needed to start a task, running late for appointments, checking the internet or Facebook just one more time before starting on jobs at hand, this may be you. Lack of organisation is a huge time-waster and creates extra work.

6. People pleasing busy

It’s great to help people and to be a team player. However if you lack the ability to say no for fear of upsetting someone even if it will be very difficult for you to complete the favour, then it may be time to re-evaluate your motivation and self-respect.

7. Lack of confidence busy

If you are too scared to ask for help with a task, for fear of being seen as incompetent, the extra workload of muddling along on your own will make you look busy but be more a waste of time than anything else. Clear and open communication can clear confusion and help with productivity, so speak up!

There seems to be a subconscious decision in many of these scenarios that we may be too busy to examine. 

By giving yourself the time and the headspace to take a closer look at your attachment to being busy, you can stop rushing in circles and focus on what makes life fulfilling rather than just ‘full’.
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