Well, it had been long since I talked about mental health and since I took a complete break from blogging last week, it gave me a long time to wonder. Even though I took the break because of my finals, it was also motivated by the constant burden of work I was feeling for the past few weeks. As a person who is usually super organized and on top of all jobs, the piling tasks were not only making me anxious but were also making me question my intents. For a long time, in fact, I kept blaming myself for being lazy and inefficient. However, the break made me realize that the paradox of being busy is real.
It started at the beginning of this year when I was shuffling between work and school. One more demanding than the other. It was all challenging, to say the least, but I functioned well enough so no one knew the internal meltdown I was having almost every day.
I kept my blog on the back-burner and starting eliminating tasks that weren’t ‘immediately’ important. The only thing this did was accumulate tasks to do. In fact, I spent hours at stretch just thinking about work without actually doing any. And the work kept piling. At the same time, I just kept emphasizing on how busy I was. Even have elaborate conversations about the work I have taken up to complete. All words and no work till the deadlines were at the door. Furthermore, I kept taking more work. Not because I’m naive but because historically, I should’ve been able to finish the work in time and still have some extra left, which I wanted to fill.
This is exactly what the paradox of being busy is. A combination of being overwhelmed and stressed by work and still picking more just because you’d rather be busy than free and lazy.
This is not just my story; I’ve heard so many of my friends complain of the same endlessly. In fact, Uni/College/School students, and young corporates have the same story throughout the world. We are just born and brought up in and by a generation that believes in working ‘hard’. PERPETUALLY.
Which is why I decided to share the takeaways I had from this epiphanic reveling thought and some research I did about this universal problem. All to help, learn, and grow together, in today’s blog.
Of course, all that while strutting about in a beautiful ensemble outfit. The beautiful ruffled skirt in this trendy color is from Shein. So is the blouse. You can buy them by clicking on the given links. What makes the outfit perfect is the overlay printed shirt & the belt on it. Why? you ask… Because it is a gift from my best friend! I’ve made the outfit edgier with Strappy Ankle Boots and you can also top it up with a pair of cute boho-ish earrings.
So, here are 5 things I learned about the paradox of being busy:
1. Productivity has no formula
Not surprisingly, no matter how much you think you’ve got a process of efficiency figured out, you’re going to be nipped in the bud. A way of working that worked amazingly for you till yesterday will only be making things works now. That is why tasks of mundane nature encounter the most errors in the long run. No matter how much the systems try to convince you otherwise, humans just aren’t made to follow routines. The solution lies in changing, growing, and reinventing your ways as the task and the day changes. This doesn’t only avoid mundaneness but also helps keep the brain stimulated to generate focus.
2. Focus is not loyal
You love your task, are prepared for it, and yet, when you actually get to it, focus becomes your biggest foe. Sounds familiar? Like that Essay that just won’t write itself? This is because focus can well, F#k us at its will. There are several reasons, the stress levels, hunger, blood circulates, physical wellbeing, so on and so forth. So, what do you do if you just can’t focus? Simply let it be. Take a break but keep a deadline and come back to try again. In the worst case scenario, you may have to do this a couple of times but once you gain your streak, there’s no stopping!
3. Time is a bigger paradox
Basically, time is relative. But it gets worse when you start postponing something to an indefinite future. I think this was my biggest mistake. If deadlines are what drive you to give yourself internal deadlines. Mark them on agendas and set reminders. Don’t let the time just slip by while you keep thinking that there’s still more time.
4. The more you toil, the more you pile
This is literally the worst but oh, so true! Which is what makes efficiency so important. I read somewhere that even a mule can do the hard work but it only those who do smart work can actually make something out of their work. This is what smart work is and it is the solution to this issue. Time management, agendas, and stress management, all clubbed together!
5. Opposite of Busy is not Lazy
I think this is the most important thing I’ve learned in a long time. Because we come from an understanding that promotes hard work so much that we have forgotten to value the free time. It is rather funny that we could be sleepless, stressed, overwhelmed, anxious, and more rather than being free. This covers all sort of commitments, professional and personal. You just keep feeling the need of doing something because you don’t want to act ‘lazy’. Well, truth be told, the opposite of busy is not lazy. Go read about the “La Dolce Far Niente” which means- the sweetness of doing nothing and you’ll understand the importance of free time for your overall wellbeing and development.
Important: Remember to breathe. No, seriously, breathing exercises work the best when you’re overwhelmed with work or are stressed. Even if you don’t have a lot of time. A few minutes of deep breaths without your gadgets to distract you. It will help you recharge for your next power through this paradox of being busy.
In conclusion, make time for yourself by managing time efficiently. Be a little less hard on yourself and try to define boundaries in terms of thinking space for all tasks you undertake. After all, over-thinking and stressing usually tires you out more than the actual task itself.
If you love my outfit here, get it from my partner site- Shein. Use code ‘9ADITI’ for an additional 15% off on checkout!
If you know of any other useful tips or have insights on the paradox of business, do share them in comments below. Ertsy has an ecosystem that accommodates all opinions, views, and ideas to create a better, inclusive community.
Stay tuned for more of my travel in style adventures. Till then, strive to stay calm and be your own desire. x