Is Busy the New Normal?

26697992320_c9886a2717_zIn today’s busy world it is common for you as a leader to think that unless you are crazy busy you are somehow not being effective or normal. Unfortunately, too many of us have bought into the myth that busy is normal or being effective.

I recall a time in my life as a leader when I bought into that myth. I was on call 24/7 and felt I was needed; that gave me a sense of self-worth. In the process, I neglected my family, my health, my spiritual and psychological well-being.

What are some signs that you may be doing too much?

You are always rushing to get to your next appointment/activity. You are so busy you do not have time to process the previous activity before moving to the next. You should have breathing room between activities, especially if your activities are mentally and emotionally demanding.

You always feel tired. When was the last time you woke up feeling rested instead of feeling the need to sleep in? That feeling should not be the exception but the norm. You are doing too much when you cannot find time to regularly relax, rest and get enough sleep. According to recent research, the lack of sleep affects performance, and it is nearly impossible to catch up on lost sleep to improve performance.

You have to settle for the good rather than your best. You have so much to do you cannot give your best in any one thing, and you know it. You come away from a task or event knowing that you did not give your best and you feel badly about it.

The important things in your life are being neglected, like your family life, your health, your spiritual, emotional, intellectual, honest accountability and/or psychological well-being.

You do not have the time to spend quality time with your family, time where they get your undivided attention—with phones, computers, tablets and televisions turned off. You promise to attend games and performances of your kids, but arrive late or not at all.

You do not have the time to eat healthily, instead you are skipping meals or eating fast food on the go. When you do not get time for regular physical exercise, or when you are sick you cannot stay home and rest because you have too much to get done, you are too busy.

You do not have time to read to develop your intellect, rather everything you read is to meet a deadline for some project.

And you have no time to sit down with either a person or group on a regular basis and freely process what is on your mind and be held accountable. No one is an island. We all need to have regular times of processing in a mutually safe environment.

You have lost your sense of humor. You find yourself taking everything seriously and personally because you are doing too much and think everything has to be serious. A sense of humor is a good and necessary part of life.

You should be able to laugh at yourself; you should also be able to see the funny things of life. I cannot imagine life without laughter. When was the last time you had a deep, uninhibited laugh?

You are losing the passion and excitement for what you do. You were once excited and full of life for what you are doing now. But now your busyness has taken the passion and excitement out what you do.

I am aware there are exceptions to the above observations we have made. But that is what they should be: exceptions. If any of the above points are the norm for you, you are doing too much.

If you would like help in achieving your goals in any area of your life, call us at 208-880-0307 or email us at to schedule a complimentary coaching session. To read Errol’s other posts, visit Christ-Centered Life Coaching.

Photo credit: Michael VH via / CC BY