Quick Trick to Feel Less Overwhelmed – Drop the “Busy Brag”
Apologizing for being busy is a classic humble brag. When we meet one another over drinks or coffee, we can subtly convey a sense of our own importance by reviewing the demands of our “crazy schedules.” Well, essayist Hanna Rosin has our number. In her recent article, “You Are Not As Busy as You Say You Are” , for Slate she notes:
The art of busyness is to convey genuine alarm at the pace of your life and a helpless resignation, as if someone else is setting the clock, and yet simultaneously make it clear that you are completely on top of your game.
Rosin argues that busyness itself can be floated as a mark of social status, a kind of cultural capital. If you are busy – you are in demand. A brag about busyness can convey a sense of our own full purpose and even bring a sense of glamor with it. There is nothing inherently wrong about bragging a bit about your schedule. However Rosin reminds us that telling everyone you have no time, actually makes you feel (even more) like you have no time. She councils that the sense of being overwhelmed is suggestible, and self-perpetuating.
One way to feel more on top of things may, perhaps, be to talk just a bit less about our to do lists.
The conversation on how we manage (and speak about) our busy lives has come to the forefront this month with the publication of Overwhelmed: Work, Love and Play When No One Has the Time by Brigid Schulte as well as Ariana Huffington’s Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating A Life of Well-Being, Wisdom and Wonder. Both new texts tackle head-on our addiction to busyness and connectivity. Schulte and Huffington each take on the ruling zeitgeist that we should all aspire to a 24/7 entrepreneurial schedule. The books offer suggestions on finding balance, and tempering personal expectations, and both take a clear eyed view that the culture of overwork takes a particular toll on women.
The stuff of life never ends. That is life. You will never clear your plate so you can finally allow yourself to get to the good stuff. So you have to decide. What do you want to accomplish in this life? – Brigid Schulte