By Jennie Wong
The Charlotte Observer.
This week’s Ask the Mompreneur features an interview with Liz Guthridge, a career consultant with expertise in applied neuroscience, behavior design and mindful communications.
Q: Have you noticed that whenever you ask someone how they are these days, they usually answer, “Busy,” or “OMG, so busy,” or even “Crazy busy!” It’s a pet peeve of mine, and yet I’m guilty of it myself. How can I change this, at least in myself, and maybe even help others find a new answer?
A: The easiest and most dependable way is to build a new habit that will replace the old one. Brain research, studies and people’s experience show that trying to break bad habits takes more time, willpower and energy than building a new alternate habit.
Of course, the bad habit you’re talking about isn’t all that wicked in terms of first world problems. But does it send the right message to others and, more importantly, to yourself? When you say you’re “busy,” are you really short on time, or are you binging on activities that are full of empty calories? To what extent are your activities aligned with your priorities, supporting your goals and nourishing your soul?
Being busy, though, is not just a time-management challenge; it’s a “me management” test.
When you’re busy, you’re committed to “active laziness” says the Buddhist monk Sogyal Rinpoche. We “fill our lives with unessential tasks so we feel full of responsibilities or, more appropriately, ‘irresponsibilities.'”
Q: So how do you avoid this trap and take more responsibility for who you are and what you’re doing?
A: Change your mindset to become more intentional about your thoughts and actions, which will help you break the cycle of “busy” for the sake of being busy. In reality, we often succumb to peer pressure and want to be as busy, or busier, than our friends and co-workers.