Not Losing Sight of Fun & the Disease of Being Busy

What happens when you pick up the phone – a friend, your Mom, a colleague on the other line – and they ask you this simple question:

“How are you?”

How do you answer? If you’re like most of us high-energy-kick-butt-take-names-multi-tasker types, you likely have two modes. On a good day it’s, “I’m GREAT!” Business might be growing, your kid is doing this cool new thing, your spouse has a fun trip planned for the two of you. But then there is this other mode. It might be late, after a nuanced conversation with a business connection, or a day of meetings without any time to check things off your mile-long To Do List. You speak without thinking & honestly say:

“I’m just so busy.”

We’ve all been there. It doesn’t always happen when things aren’t going according to plan – sometimes the bummer is that you feel that way even when the fruits of your labor are in full bloom. I thought it was time to talk about this because so many of the business owners I humbly count as friends express this feeling of being way too busy, all the time. That, when their productivity soars, their “lives” take a back seat.

I’m not the only one to comment on this issue – and I’m by no means perfect – but what I can tell you is that I strive to live a life with purpose & intention. Here are the Top 5 Things I’m Doing to Have More Fun, Keep Busy, But Continue to Have That Be a “Good Problem”:

  1. Go Huffington When Arianna Huffington – Twitter came to speak at Cleveland Clinic a while back, she spoke (as she does regularly now) about her journey to unplug more. She was burning herself out to the point where she passed out at her computer, hitting her head on the keyboard. She made the decision to make time for rest. Her bedroom became her sanctuary – no tech, books to be read tangibly (not on a tablet), introduction of a private land-line phone for emergencies only. I’m not 100% in this department yet, but I am trying to make sure to at least charge my cell phone in another room overnight so I don’t begin & end my days with emails.
  2. The Present is a Gift In a nutshell, if I’m with the family, that’s the time to really enjoy them. No phones. Discussion is about things other than work (easier said than done when you work with your spouse!). It’s about having fun together. One of my biggest fears is that my son, when asked what he does for fun, answers the question like this little girl in the video (“I would die if I didn’t have my tablet.”). Not a judgement or a slight on the parents, we all make different choices. But I’m committed to creating memories together, as a family, for as long as I possibly can. To showing him – and myself – how much we can explore together. These are the moments from my childhood that carry me through in the toughest times as an adult. The sing-alongs on my grandmother’s lap, the toughest hikes through the Canadian wilderness with a canoe over my head, the rainy days playing Risk with my parents & little brother. Being together.
  3. #ParisianDressing My son is now a year old. I’ve realized that I, basically, don’t have clothes that work for me anymore. Between being pregnant, nursing for a year (woot!) & losing all the baby weight & then some, I’m a different size & my wardrobe needs have changed. This Fall I’m shopping the season for fewer, quality pieces that can be worn in a variety of ways. My goal is to take the guess work out of looking great & to simplify my morning routine.
  4. Healthy on Demand The shark&minnow team is doing a variety of things to support each other’s wellness goals. We’ve begun integrating walking Status Meetings, taking time for tech-free communal lunches, taking breaks from sitting to move throughout the day & making sure to remind each other to hydrate. Sounds funny, but it makes our bodies & minds feel better – for me, I can honestly say it’s boosting productivity when I do sit down to focus. Here are a few of my favorite easy recipes:
  5. Get Off the Grid For me, there is truly never a good time for a vacation. My busy lifestyle is due to the fact that Eric & I have worked unbelievably hard to build a business that we are proud of & that our staff & clients want to engage with. We push it every, single day. This busy, long, cold winter left us feeling drained & we knew it was important for our “inner lives” (to quote my friend, Singapore-based Writer/Editor/Superwoman, Mrigaa Sethi – Twitter) to get outta Dodge. We’re taking Lee Ponsky’s TEDxCLE 2015 Talk & taking time to recharge. This past month we took time for a trip that’s been on our bucket list. More on that in a future post!

My team & I are really passionate about living healthy, mindful lives. Expect to hear more on this topic. In the meantime, I leave you with this great post I nabbed a while back from a friend’s Facebook page. I think about it often & it seems to ground me instantly.

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*Header image courtesy of Steve Rotman (CC license, non-commercial).

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