We’re going to start with getting a little healthy today, in a different way, because I had a very interesting conversation with a patient yesterday. She was fortunate enough to spend a month on a pseudo-vacation. She had work to do. She actually did amazing. She did great, had very little trouble. Since returning home, she’s had a significant amount of pain return back into her life.
We started investigating why on earth that would occur and why does pain come back. We see it all the time when people come back from vacations. They’ll get adjusted before they go on a vacation. Lo and behold, they do amazing. They have no pains, no problems, no troubles. Monday morning rolls back around and they’re back at work and they’re having all kinds of trouble.
As we dig into life and what’s going on, I discovered a little bit of a secret. That busyness is a major risk factor for health. She was busy, so busy, crazy busy and didn’t know how to be any different, she didn’t know that was a problem and felt an overwhelming compulsion to be active in some capacity, all the time. A little idle time was basically frowned upon in her family. She was raised that way and always felt that she had to go, go, go, go and never stop, never stop, keep pushing, work harder, work faster, work more.
Ironically, when she had a chance to lay on the beach, do some down time with her kids, it was amazing experience. It was something that I think a lot of people struggle with. We’re going to dissect this a little bit and see if we can identify your busyness and ways to fix it. That will be later, because I did a blog post many years ago on how to fix it in 5 minutes.
If you’re crazy busy or if you ever hear yourself saying that, then you might want to pay attention to this podcast. The difference is… being busy is most oftentimes a lifestyle choice, very much like for this lady. She chose, if she had an extra 20 minutes, to go and do something, anything than just sit and be, or take a nap or slowing down. She has an amazing volunteer track record and does very useful things, but there has to be some way of slowing down and creating idle time.
Other people, that’s not really a choice. But that’s out of necessity and that’s not exactly what we’re talking about today. If you’re supporting 6 kids and you’re working 3 jobs just to keep the lights on and you’re taking care of a sick parent, you’re really not just busy, you’re tired and exhausted and just trying to keep your head above water.
If you are getting congratulations on being busy from people as you’re talking to them around the water cooler, then this is really for you. It is not a badge of honor to be busy because it is a choice. It’s a voluntary decision that really affects people. I am affected by this. I was heavily affected by this. I’ll talk to you about how that’s changed over the years for me.
Do you actually want to be busy?
Is that really part of what you really want in life?
Are you feeling like you’re even forced to do it?
Sometimes that’s your expectation from your family.
In the end, what I want you to think about is “does it even matter”?
Are you actually making something to be useful?
Are you creating something to help people or better the world?
Are you just having idle hands and just basically trying to stay busy without actually producing anything? Being productive is a whole different level of being busy. Busy people are different than productive people.
The trouble is, and I’ve been subjected to this too, is it feels good to be in demand every second of the day. You’re so busy. It’s kind of an ego trip because you clearly are very important because you’re busy.
If you’re go, go, go and never have any down time, then you may be subject to being too busy. There’s a balance in there.
What does being busy look like?
1. When you lay down at night, you might be too busy if your brain basically has a thousand things that run through your mind that you need to worry about, be anxious about, to be thinking about. If your brain never shuts off, you are too busy. You’re not giving it time during the day to deal with those issues. Being busy, you never have down time for your brain.
You may be too busy when:
2. You can’t remember your last vacation. You may have not even ever taken a vacation.
I have to confess. For probably about 7 years, I never took a vacation. I was like, I couldn’t afford to take a vacation because it would take too much time away, take too much money away, and all your typical excuses. Finally I got talked into taking a week vacation. It was a very, very scary step as a business owner. It was probably one of the best things that I ever did. Going on a week’s vacation to a remote campsite in the northern part of Minnesota. We actually were 50 feet from Lake Superior and listening to the wave’s crash all night. It was amazing. Being out in the wilderness was rejuvenating. It was life-transforming. My brain actually felt better. My body felt better. My best ideas come from idle time and just letting my brain be.
If you haven’t ever taken a vacation, you have got to start thinking about doing that. You might be missing out on some of the best days, live, times of your life. Do consider doing that because if you have not ever taken a vacation or you almost never take one, you can almost guarantee, actually I can guarantee, you are too busy.
3. You might be too busy if you have less focus than a gold fish. Yeah, I’m not kidding. Time magazine actually did an article about this. This was in May 2015. Microsoft did a study on brain activity. People generally lose their concentration at about 8 seconds now. In 2000, it was 12 seconds. But now in 2015, it is 8 seconds. A gold fish can concentrate for 9 seconds.
77% of people surveyed between 18 and 24, when they had nothing to do, guess what they did? They reached for their cellphones to do something.
If you are looking at your cellphone constantly, you’re losing your ability to focus. Your brain is not getting enough idle time. The early warning sign… texting in the middle of a conversation.
4. You might be too busy when you are more tired in the morning. I did a whole article on what it’s like to be tired in the morning, ways to deal with it, how to look at it, lifestyle changes, dietary changes and some tests you can do. But the fundamental problem is that you’re most likely too busy. I had the same thing happened many, many years ago. I had to make some other lifestyle choices and go through a lot of supplements.
5. These are things that you might say if you are too busy. If you constantly say, think or feel like you’re in “survival mode”, that you’re “never caught up”. Busy people, don’t intend to invest in themselves. They don’t take care of themselves. They just forget about themselves. If you’re always feeling like you’re in survival mode, it’s just probably because you are and you are too busy.
6. You’re almost always late. If you’re always late for appointments, always late for this, always late for that. You’re often finding yourself speeding because you’re late. You’re running red lights because you’re late. You’re potentially risking your life and other people’s lives, because you are too busy. We see this all the time in Salt Lake. It is in nearly every single intersection that somebody’s running a red light. That is very easy to fix. Get up earlier. Set your alarms. Being late is a sign that you are too busy and there is no good that comes from that. It’s easy to fix by simply leaving 5 minutes earlier. You never have to stress. Life is much easier when you drive the speed limit because you don’t have to worry about being pulled over.
7. These are signs that you might be too busy when your to-do list is 24 things long. If you have never ending constant to-do list, you are most certainly too busy. Productive people on the other hand will probably have 4 things on their to-do list. Most times when productive people have 3 or 4 things, they’ll actually have a laser beam focus and they’ll get things done. A busy person is jumping and flittering from one project to the next. That is not the same thing – being busy and being productive are very different. You might be both creating action or activity but productive people have a priority list that is very, very short. Focus your priorities to cut down busyness.
8. You’re too busy if you are constantly meeting the expectations of others. That could be your boss, maybe your customers. It could be some lazy family members that don’t help around the house, but are more than capable. Guess what? You’re going to get too burned out, If you’re constantly trying to meet other people’s needs.
9. You are just flat out exhausted, not just tired. The companion guide I linked to in the show notes is on being tired. This is exhausted, meaning you physically can’t get out of bed. You’re constantly feeling like everything is a huge effort. You always feel like if you sit down, you’re going to fall asleep. You just don’t have energy to do much of anything. You need to read that article on being tired and you have to recognize that things need to change because if you don’t, you’re going to be labeled with chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia or something like that. Your body basically will quit on you. Better to deal with it now. Start changing things otherwise your body will force you to change things at the least opportune time.
10. This kind of an unusual one but I think it plays into a subtle trend in our society and that is being unhappy really for no reason. You don’t know why you’re unhappy. You’re just unhappy. Busy people often have distractions from reality or problems they don’t want to deal with. It’s much easier just to ding around on Facebook and check out of life for awhile. Sometimes you’re just simply unhappy and you don’t know why, you need to step back, start meditating, start taking some time to yourself and figuring out what truly is creating a disruption in your life.
11. If you skip or cheat breakfast, basically because you have no time. Breakfast is the most important meal of the day. People are just pounding down cereal because it’s theoretically fast. Or you’re just skipping breakfast because you have to… I have people who come to the office at 11 o’clock in the morning. I’ll ask them about what they had for breakfast and they say, “Oh I didn’t have breakfast. I just barely got here in time.” It’s 11 o’clock. You should have been up a long, long time ago, having a nice breakfast, maybe spending some morning time reading or meditating. If you are sleeping until 10:30 and racing to the office, your life is out of balance.
If you’re skipping breakfast or just dumping cereal in a bowl and pouring milk on it. This is a good thing to start working on because breakfast is important. It’s the easiest way to make a huge impact in your nutrition because cereal is not nutritious in any way, shape, or form. You need to be getting some fruits, some veggies, some eggs, some yogurt or something else into your system besides cereal. Don’t skip breakfast, and don’t cheat yourself with cereal.
12. If you find yourself not being able to say no. If people ask you to help out at church or people ask you to help out with their kids or people ask you to do anything and you always say yes. Saying “YES” is easy. Saying “NO” takes disciple and is much harder. You are going to be too busy eventually, if you always say yes. Warren Buffett, the most successful investor, has got a really good handle on this. For every 100 opportunities, he says “no” to 99 of them. He only says yes to one. Very successful people, in general, say no more than they say yes. But people feel obligated. They feel like they have to please people. They have to meet the expectations of other people. They’re looking for acceptance. But in the end, you actually are hurting yourself.
Take this to heart. This changed my perspective immensely. Did you know that researchers found out that when you die only 10 people will care enough about you to cry at your funeral. No matter how famous or beloved you are, on average, 10 people really care. To make it worse, if it’s raining at your funeral, half of the people will skip your burial. Say “NO” to someone today.
If you’re noticing a trend here and you’re too busy, now is the time to start looking at things that you can start saying no to.
13. The last one is if you talk about how busy you are, you’re so busy, you’re crazy busy or how little time you have, this is the ultimate sign you don’t have priorities. Your priorities get time. Things that you value, you make time for. All of a sudden if you have a sick kid, your priorities are with your sick kid. You’re not going to work. When you have higher priorities, you will give time to those things. A lot of times, people don’t have their priorities figured out. They just stay busy because they don’t really have a direction. If you’re starting to talk about how busy you are, then you are busy, but in a bad way. These are things that you might want to start fixing.
How do you fix these stuff? Where do you start? What are some steps to changing a busy lifestyle?
1. Your lifestyle. Are you working for a living? Are you living for your work? I’ve only meet a few people in my life that I actually think on their gravestone, might actually be inscribed: I wish I would have worked more. Most people don’t want to work more. They like to work. I like to work. I have to practice not being busy because I’ve been caught up in every single one of these traps. This is why I know this. I actually have to physically plan and think about not being busy so much and being more productive with my time. I’m a better person when I’m not pulling my hair out. Changing your life style, figuring out what you can say no to, and where you can cut back. I used to work 5-6 days a week. Now, I work 3 ½ because I will get wrapped up in being too busy. I just don’t feel it, but my health suffers. One of the major things that gets neglected is health.
Being health is hard work. Unless you intentionally do healthy things, you will NOT be healthy. Society is set up against you.
2. Probably the best thing and the most pleasurable thing is taking a vacation. If you haven’t taken one in a while, start planning it now. If you don’t plan it, it will actually never happen. You need to go buy a plane ticket somewhere. It will decrease your stress. It will increase your ideas. It will increase your productivity. It will increase your happiness and it will increase your relationships. It is important that you have time off. Even if you think you can’t afford it. That’s a classic sign that you need it.
3. Start meditating. Every day, 5 minutes. Start with 5 minutes. It doesn’t matter. Any kind of meditation. Just even being quiet, sitting still with no distractions. No other noises, music, TV, kids. Find 5 minutes. If you can do 20, awesome. Do 10 in the morning, 10 at night. It doesn’t matter. Start with 5 QUIET minutes. If you want to get more into meditation, and do various different types, great. Go ahead and follow that path. Since most people aren’t doing anything. I’d suggest you just start with quiet. That will make the greatest impact.
4. The last one is taking care of your body. When your health suffers, every thing else suffers. You put your body priorities ahead of a lot of other things, that means chiropractic, whole foods, whole food supplements, exercise, and rest. Those things need to be priorities in your day, your week, your month, your life. If you’re not doing that, you’re hurting yourself. If you’re too busy to do that, guess what? You’re hurting yourself. Once again, society and modern life is set up against you. As people use more and more smart phones, chiropractic care becomes a necessity to help offset the ongoing stress on the neck and upper back. I can see it coming. The next 10 years will create a whole new wave of chronic head, neck and arm problems.
These are the same types of repetitive strain injuries that so many factory workers were getting, like carpal tunnel syndrome, for example. If you get adjusted and then spend the next 7 days looking down, you’re pretty likely going to need another adjustment.
There are two things that I want to leave you with today. That is from some of the most successful people on the planet, whether it’s Oprah, or it’s Warren Buffett, it doesn’t matter. When you start looking at the lives of successful people, and I try to study them because they’re successful for a reason. There are two things that are always on the list of their successful habits. They almost always have meditation. That’s something they either do, or wish they would have started much earlier in their lives or careers. Two, they always take care of their bodies. Their health becomes a higher priority because without your health, basically nothing else is going to matter. If you are so busy and not take care of yourself, pretty soon other people are going to have to take care of you.
I want to leave you with those things. Start looking at your lifestyle. Are you just flat out doing too many things? Have you not taken a vacation? Start meditating and taking better care of yourself with regular chiropractic whole real foods, whole real supplements and getting some exercise and some rest every day.
Have a great day! If you want the companion guide, you can download that from the show notes. You can also go to SLCSAW.com. There will be a whole guide for just being tired and what you can do about being tired and a tests you can do, lifestyle choices and dietary things. You guys have a great day and go take a nap.