Off-Topic Friday is a weekly series on things other than nonprofit content marketing. It’s Friday. We all get into weekend mode and starting chit chatting about random things – that’s what this is. Although usually it’s about bettering yourself or the world in some way.

We’re so busy.

Whenever someone says, how are you? The answer is always busy. Busy busy. Crazy Busy. You’d think everyone’s life must be horrible with how much we say that.

However, to paraphrase a quote from one of my favourite thinkers, Derek Sivers, “saying you’re busy just means you’re feeling out of control”.

We’re all usually awake for about the same hours doing SOMETHING. Being busy just means you’re not in control of WHAT you do. Maybe you have many obligations, maybe you just haven’t consciously thought about it.

When people try to take control however, they try to squeeze every millisecond out of their day.

Maybe you’ve schedule multiple meetings back to back or tried to get through emails while eating breakfast. We naturally associate doing more with progress towards wealth, happiness, or love.

When in fact doing less will impact your life far more.

Let me explain.

Instead of thinking how you can cram in another meeting, squeeze 10 minutes of social media out of your commute, or multitask to supposedly get more done.

You should always be thinking of how you can do less. This should even come long before you decide what to fill your day with.

If at first you decide, “I will stop watching TV, I will stop doing these useless meetings, or stop complaining about the weather”, then you will find yourself with more. That “more” might be time, energy, drive, passion, or whatever.

Clearing up what you do and think (yes this doesn’t just apply to tasks, but attitudes and thoughts as well), will give you head space to thoughtfully choose things that bring you passion and excitement. Then regardless of your calendar, you won’t feel busy.

Most people do the opposite and think “how can I do more to improve my life?”. But you will be happier, feel less busy, and feel in control if at first you do less.

Easier said than done.



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