Are you too busy?

A while back, when I asked a friend of mine, a psychologist, how he was, he answered, “Working harder for less.”

I’m sure that’s true for a lot of us — it’s surely true for me. And when we’re making less, we have to give up the support services we used to use — the cleaning service, the gardener, take-out food, even prepared food at the grocery store. So now, besides working more hours at our jobs or businesses, we have a second shift at home. Okay, we always had a second shift at home, but now that takes longer, too.

Now, I believe that working hard and honestly is a virtue. I also know that reflection is often needed for learning, so that you don’t make the same mistake twice. Reflection is needed for clarity, as well, to be clear about what you’re choosing to create in your life (for work, a mate, etc.), what’s stopping you from creating that, what actions you’re going to take, even when those actions are simply changing your thoughts. [The Law of Attraction requires clear intention.]

Busyness can get in the way of that clarity. If you never have time to think or reflect, it’s really hard to get out of your own way and create a different life for yourself. So how do you get un-busy?

  • Put reflection time in your calendar – It’s important, so set it up as an appointment with yourself. And keep the appointment!
  • Multi-task (and I know this one sounds counter-intuitive) – For some of us, exercise is a time of reflection, especially if it’s repetitive and not particularly intense. Walking, jogging, using an ellicptical machine, set so it’s a bit of effort, and you aren’t huffing and puffing, can actually stimulate reflection.
  • Let go of some things – Is anyone really going to notice the dust bunnies under the bed? (And what are they doing looking under the bed any way?) Can the beautiful scrapbook wait, in favor of a few notes on a sticky attached to a photo? Right now make a list of 3 things that are not bringing you a monetary or emotional return on your time — and then quit doing them.
  • Let someone else drive – Maybe some people can use driving time for reflection. If that’s not you, let someone else drive (and really let him or her drive, don’t back-seat drive). Use that time for reflection or meditation. Carpooling can do more than save gas! 
  • Get organized – Searching for things takes up valuable time. If you are not a naturally organized person, trade her organizing for some skill you have.
  • Eat simply – Make a one-pot meal (think soup or stew in the winter and salad in the summer). Cook a couple of dishes in quantity, and eat them for a few days. Or freeze some in small portions, thereby making your own fast food.

Please add your ideas here — I’d love to hear them!

Hollis Polk is a personal coach (, who has been helping people create lives they love for 15 years, using neurolinguistic & hypnotherapy techniques, decision science, clairvoyance & the common sense learned in 20+ years of business. She is an NLP Master Practitioner, hypnotherapist & has a BSE in engineering from Princeton & a Harvard MBA. She is also a successful real estate broker, investor & business owner.