Busy or Consumed?
Life rushing madly by? It could be you're just busy. Or it may be that you're being consumed. What's the difference? Read on...
My wife and I sometimes have discussions about the hectic pace of our lives these days. Between raising two toddlers ages three and four, working a full-time job, taking care of an elderly parent, and trying to grow a new business we sometimes meet ourselves coming and going.
As I was taking a walk during my lunch break a few days ago I had this thought. In all of the hectic action of life, how am I feeling? Tired? Sometimes. Mostly though, I feel excited about all of the good things that I have going on in my life right now. I adore my two children - they bring so much joy into our lives. My job gives me the opportunity to grow professionally and to "flesh out" the coaching concepts I've learned, and starting and growing my coaching practice has been the adventure of my life.
My conclusion? Even though I'm really busy these days I don't feel as though I'm being consumed by all the demands on my time.
Busy is defined as, "Actively and attentively engaged in work or a pastime". Consumed, on the other hand, is "Expended, squandered, or dissipated".
When we are busy, we are taking time to do many things. When we find ourselves being consumed, many things are taking up our time. It's being proactive vs. being reactive. Actively engaged vs. being "used up".
By defining those things that energize us and give us joy, we can choose to busy ourselves with those activities. When we allow our time to be simply taken up with things that neither energize us nor give us joy, we will find our selves and our time being consumed.
What's the benefit? Differentiating between those things that deserve our time and energy and those things that simply demand them will allow us more time for those things that are truly important to us.