Tuesday, May 23, 2017

You Can Never Be Your Best If You're Too Busy

I arrived home from school one day this past week to find our trash can turned over on its side with trash littering our yard. I had set the container at our curb that morning expecting it to be picked up by our trash service. It was a very windy day and now there was a real mess to clean up. I grabbed my cell phone and immediately called to demand answers to this terrible injustice.

"Yes, why wasn't my trash picked up this morning? All my neighbors had theirs picked up? And now my trash has blown all over my yard." So there you have it!!!!

"Oh I'm so sorry about that, sir. Please let me help you with that."

"By all means, you better help me with this," I thought to myself, applauding my assertiveness at not letting this mistake pass without it being addressed.

"What's your address, sir?"

"4404 S 146th Rd."

"Sir, it looks like your trash gets picked up on Thursdays."

I'm quite aware that our trash gets picked up on Thursdays. The problem in this scenario is that the day I set out the trash was Wednesday. I set the trash out on the wrong day!!! 

At this point, the conversation turned in a completely different direction as I backpedaled furiously.

The month of May is the busiest month of the year for me. There are so many end-of-the-year events, responsibilities, and tasks that have to be done. I'm sure many of you can relate. I am constantly on the go and have very little time to power down and allow my mind a little much needed rest. 

And maybe that's why I set the trash out on the wrong day. But that's not the end of my missteps.

Sunday at church, there was a time to shake hands and welcome others and that type of thing. I left the row where I was sitting to walk over and visit with some of our high school students and former students. As the service moved on to the next phase, I hustled back to my seat.

Only it wasn't my original seat. Pretty soon I felt a tapping on my shoulder, only to turn around and see my wife's beautiful smile. I sat down in the row in front of her. I didn't make it back to where I started. Most of the congregation saw this comical scene. I scrambled back to my actual seat, the one next to my wife, and all I could do was laugh uncontrollably. Pretty much the whole church was laughing too. I'm glad I could brighten their day.

But once again, I have to think the hectic schedule I've been keeping played a role in my lack of focus. When there are so many things racing through your mind, it's tough to concentrate.

By nature, I'm a doer. I am always thinking of the next project or possibility. If I'm not careful, I can turn into a human doer, instead of a human being. You see, we were created to have times where we allow ourselves to just be

To just be still.

To be quiet.

To be at rest.

To be recharged, refreshed, and renewed.

If we are always doing every moment, we won't have the time for just being.

I'm very thankful my mistakes did not have serious implications. But it did cause me to reflect on my schedule and how I can make sure I'm fully present and showing up well even in the month of May.

I read an article recently about how we Americans are wearing our busyness as a badge of honor. If we're not careful, we can get caught in a trap of feeling we need to do more and more and more. 

But it's hurting our ability to be our best. 
When people feel that they are busy, they tend to make short-term decisions and not focus on the things that really matter in the long term. They stop investing in their personal development, and they no longer try to think of new ways to approach work.
Busyness also undermines our ability to achieve complex problem solving, creativity, and empathy, skills that the World Economic Forum has identified as needed for success in the future.
When you’re busy, you become less creative, less imaginative, and less engaged.
This past Sunday, we had graduation for the Class of 2017 and the school year has ended, so my summer schedule is already kicking in. While I have still have plenty to do, I am committing to slow down a little and remember to say no to some things.

It's time to just be for a little while.

Question: Do you wear your busyness as a badge of honor? What are you doing to slow down, refresh, and recharge regularly? I want to hear from you. Leave a comment below or respond on Facebook or Twitter. When you share your stories and wisdom it's appreciated!

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