Let’s talk about something impossible. Something you probably thought couldn’t be done. Let’s talk about becoming “unbusy.” Being unbusy means a life where things slow down. Where your obligations aren’t taking over your day. In this post, we discuss how to become unbusy despite having busy lives.
Below is the podcast version of this article. The podcast explains things so much better than a blog post. I invite you to listen and also hear some examples and enjoy some laughs! You can subscribe to the Podcast by opening your favorite podcast app and typing “Balanced Working Moms” into the search or click here for a link to the podcast on iTunes.
Why Become Unbusy Now?
As the world slowly starts opening up again, I think it’s particularly important to talk about becoming “unbusy.”
Many of us have been isolated and now we can do things again! We can attend birthday parties, graduations, etc.
But as we go back to “normal,” let’s pause from our year of less running around, and let’s talk about becoming “unbusy” and what that would mean for us.
When COVID first started, I was chatting with a friend. We were sharing our thoughts on COVID and she shared what her religious leaders were telling her.
She shared according to her beliefs, COVID was sent as a message. A message to SLOW DOWN.
Of course, like most of us, she missed seeing people. However, she was also relieved to not have places to go. She thought that the message of COVID was a message to take things slower. To enjoy her family more. To live life instead of constantly being on the “go.”
What does being “unbusy” mean to you? There’s no right or wrong – it’s different for each person.
To me, being unbusy means not being over-scheduled.
I don’t like it when I have too many things on my calendar. Appointments, parties, classes, meetings. UGH.
For you, it may mean having fewer things on your to-do list. Maybe being unbusy means having fewer chores or responsibilities.
In her blog, BecomingUnbusy.com, Zina Harrington writes a beautiful definition of what it means to her to become unbusy
Becoming unbusy is about learning to love yourself enough to slow down. It’s about taking a step back and getting quiet. It’s about taking time to figure out your real desires in life, to listen to that distant inner voice, instead of what society tells you to want. It’s about intentionally choosing to live YOUR truth.-Zina Harrington, BecomingUnbusy.com
May you have the courage to begin breaking patterns in your life that no longer serve you. To give yourself permission to pause and reflect. And to remember taking care of yourself doesn’t mean “me first,” it means “me too.”
I know what you’re going to tell me. I would say the same if I was reading this post.
Being unbusy isn’t possible with kids, especially young kids.
And I admit. Perhaps you’re right.
If you work outside the home and have a 2 and 4 year old, being unbusy may be impossible.
But the way we do things here at Balanced Working Moms is we ease into things.
Maybe we can’t be unbusy just now, in this season of our lives. But can we ease into it?
Can we do things that will make us feel less busy?
Tips for Creating an Unbusy Lifestyle
1. Don’t be like the Joneses.
In today’s modern age, “everyone” is overscheduled. It’s the norm to have after-school activities, packed weekends, and lots of obligations.
It can be difficult to be different and to say “no.” However, to create an unbusy life, it’s important to not overschedule your family. Learn to dominate your schedule instead of letting your schedule dominate you.
DOMINATE YOUR SCHEDULE, DON’T LET YOUR SCHEDULE DOMINATE YOU.
- Have extra white space where your family has no commitments.
- Limit sports and other after school activities
- Let your kids be bored – it’s so good for them (it’s when creativity blossoms!)
2. Get off Devices
When I’m on a retreat, feels like I have all the time in the world because there’s no TV, phone, computer, or any electronic devices. I do this once a year. I also don’t bring my family or my washing machine, so there are other reasons why I feel like time has slowed down, but being away from devices for a week makes a huge difference. It makes time seem to stand still.
Going off devices is a quick way to feel unbusy. And since we can’t always be on a retreat, a practical way to do this is to keep your phone in another room of the house. If it’s away from you, even if just in the next room, you’ll feel so much less “busy.”
3. Own Less Stuff
Think about how much time is spent on acquiring things, paying for the things we acquire, cleaning those things, disposing of those things after we’re done with them, etc.
It’ll make you shudder just thinking about it.
Consider going “modern minimalism” and only owning things you love or need!
“She silently stepped out of the race she never wanted to be in, found her own lane, and proceeded to win.” — Pam Lambert