Busy. Burnout. Balance.
Updated: Oct 24, 2021
Why do people like to wear a badge of honor called busy? Everyone gets addicted to the high of being busy. The same thing that people complain about is also what people brag about: “I’m so busy!”
Many people confuse busyness with profitability. Busyness is just being busy for busy sake. Profitability can come in many other forms than money. It can be putting the time in to invest in a relationship with your spouse, your kids, or your friends - anyone that may lay in the path of destruction following your busy life. It can also come in the forms of deserted desires or dreams. An example of this is when you say, “If I only had more time, I’d have a cleaner house, I’d get in shape, etc.” (you fill in the blank).
The fact is, you can keep yourself busy to FEEL important, but you’ll loose importance to the people or things that matter most. One of our marriage friends on Instagram just posted:
“If you are too busy for each other, you are too busy.”
That is something to stop and ponder about right now! Are you too addicted to busy and too occupied for your spouse? Maybe you even have destination addiction: the idea that happiness is in the next place, the next job, or even with the next partner. Until you give up the idea that happiness is somewhere else, it’ll never be where you are.
Busyness is not in and of itself evil. However, being too busy for too long can lead to burnout. And unchecked burnout can cause destructive imbalance in your life.
Burnout causes communication failures in your marriage. Conversations are often only about unmet expectations. You’ll have a strained sex life (if any sex at all). And in burnout, you probably are experiencing financial issues, too. With all that, you begin feeling like you are failing in every aspect of your home life so you work even harder to try and squeeze in all of the things that you don’t have quality time for. But that just leads to more exhaustion, and you still are not excelling at anything.
You can also develop strong, negative emotions towards the thing causing burnout and everything associated with it. And as a byproduct, that negative attitude can creep into your personal life on accident. You are miserable, and the people around you are miserable, as well.
If you watch The Minimalist documentary on Netflix, you’ll love this quote… “You think you’re living the American dream but is it YOUR dream?”
The accumulation of stuff.
Maybe everything you ever wanted wasn’t what you actually wanted at all.
If you have found yourself tipping the scale from busy to burnout, it’s time to find balance. And usually the first thing to do if you are trying to balance anything in life is STOP.
John Delony, author of Redefining Anxiety and Dave Ramsey personality, reminds us that the skills that make you successful at work can destroy your family at home. Boxers take their gloves off before they leave the gym ... you should too. He also says, “Your kids and your spouse don’t deserve to be casualties of your workplace brawls. If you have to fight and claw and scratch at work, make sure you leave that at the office. If you investigate, demand, debate, or twist words for a living, leave that on the job. Bring home you … and that’s all. You’re enough.”
In other words, leave your bag of crap at the door … we promise no one else will pick it up because they all have their own bag of crap, too! There is no amount of success OUTSIDE of your home that will ever justify a failure INSIDE of it. Your marriage and your family are the most important things you will ever do in this life.
So after you STOP to find balance away from busy and burnout, try these 3 things to take your key relationships (especially your marriage) away from slipping into maintenance mode…
Acknowledge Unhealthy Rhythms. Do you chronically sign up for more than what your soul’s capacity will allow? Is there an internal desperation inside you that just loves to feel needed? Are you consistently neglecting to carve out time to spend with people? Think about your daily ebbs and flows; what rhythms aren’t serving you well? Which ones should be adjusted or altogether removed? Jot them down. Include your spouse (INVITE them to help you) and discuss them together. Acknowledgement is the first of the ABC’s away from burnout.
Break The Habit. If your burnout is caused by the exhaustion of trying to impress others or your effort to keep your own status, consider breaking the habit by declaring a no make-up day. Try going a week without getting your nails done or don’t shave (guys only please) for a few days. You can also break habits by choosing to ditch the distractions. For one full day (24 complete hours!) turn off your phone, or TV, or whatever distracts you from quality time with WHO will matter to you longer in life. YOU are in control of your electronics … period. And once you break the habit of just one distraction, you just tipped over the first domino! Watch and see how your life will turn around once you get all the dominos lined up and ready to go.
Create A New Schedule. Once you have acknowledged unhealthy rhythms and decided to break the habit of them, the only thing that will make these changes stick is creating a new schedule to stick to instead. What time are you going to have “me time”? Schedule it! What day are you going to have family night? Schedule it! When is regular date night with your spouse? Schedule it! Set them up as recurring events so you never have to think about it again once you create a new schedule. And if something comes up that needs to trump the 30min workout you were planning on doing (or whatever it is that needs adjusting), just move your exercise to a different time for that one day instead of canceling. YOU are in control of your schedule, therefore, YOU are in control of where you’ll live … in busy, burnout, or balance.
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