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5 Myths We Tell Ourselves About Being Busy

New York City

I put together a list of 5 myths we tell ourselves about being busy.  I read an article on Harvard Business Review not too long about about how we humblebrag about being busy all the time these days.  The article was really an eye opener for me.

Our family has been on a journey to become more free with our lives over the past 8-10 years now.  We have put a lot of effort into eliminating debt and really working to simplify our lives.  Unlike some people we see online telling their stories, we have really taken a slower journey.  The slower journey has allowed us to learn as we go.

The article opens right up with the following statement “We have a problem—and the odd thing is we not only know about it, we’re celebrating it. Just today, someone boasted to me that she was so busy she’s averaged four hours of sleep a night for the last two weeks. She wasn’t complaining; she was proud of the fact. She is not alone.”

Don't try to keep up with the Jones

Keeping up with the Jones can have a cost.

Why do we have this issue?

  1. We are suffering from extreme consumerism.  If you read my latest article titled “How Rich Are You and Are You Debt Free?” you saw how the average household income in the United States puts most families in the top 4-5% of the world’s income earners.   Simply put we are overspending on stuff we do not need to be happy.
  2. We feel guilty not working hard.  What if someone asked you what have you been up to and you answered, not much?  What do you typically hear from people when you ask how their day is going or what they have been up to?  Let me guess, we have been so busy.  You do not have to feel guilty about not being busy and enjoying life (seriously).
  3. Comparing ourselves with the Joneses.  One of the most detrimental things we can do is compare ourselves to others.  We do not have their back story when we compare ourselves.  Did they receive a big inheritance which allowed them to purchase a lot of stuff?  Are they in debt up to their eyeballs?  Are they just one job loss away from total bankruptcy?
  4. Media influences us everywhere if we are not careful.  What we watch on the television, see on magazine covers and all the advertising we watch does have an impact.  If marketing did not work, companies would not be spending billions of dollars on marketing and advertising budgets.  We just need to be mindful in movies companies pay for placement of products, beauty products, clothing, automobiles, and anything else you can think of.
  5. Shopping is therapy.  I have seen it first hand, how effective going out and blowing a bunch of money can be when you are a bit down.  Nothing like getting some new clothing, toys, taking a trip, etc… when life seems to be kicking you in the tail.

We see all our friends on social media every day posting images from vacations, new cars, new homes, and more.  We also see people working out 1-2 hours every day, working 50+ hours a week, taking the kids to concerts, soccer games…  What we end up seeing is people we believe are superman and superwoman (sleeping 4-5 hours and day and doing everything for everyone).  In many cases people are so busy, they do not have time for themselves.

Simple living is the cure for this problem.  Imagine removing clutter from your life instead of adding more.  What if you get rid of stuff you do not use very often or downsize your home?  Would you spend less time cleaning?  What if you had no debt, because you simplified your life and that allowed you to downsize your career from the high paying executive job to something where you only spent 30-40 hours a week in the office?

One day we are all going to realize life is short and we should have spent more time on ourselves.  The big question is when will we realize how short life is and we should be taking time for ourselves rather than giving it away to the unnecessary?

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates

Have a wonderful day!

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