Are you addicted to being busy? Do you use busyness as a coping mechanism? Busyness addiction can seriously affect your life unless you learn how to slow down.
What is busyness addiction?
Our culture celebrates the art of being busy. The busier you are, the more successful and valuable you are. As we normalize being busy, we become obsessed with it. We try to get more things done in a shorter span of time and then jump onto other things that we can complete.
Being busy makes us feel better. It feeds our self-esteem and ego. And this is when we get addicted to it. However, busyness can actually be a sign of low self-esteem as we desperately try to validate ourselves and our worth through the act of being busy.
Busyness addiction is like any other addiction. We become physiologically and compulsively dependent on it. Michelle Braden, MSBCoach CEO, and author explains “Busy is habit-forming. People pride themselves on being busy, but busyness is an addiction that needs to be cured.”
In a 2015 study titled The Disease of ‘Busyness’ lead researcher Kim Richards states that “Busyness is anything but impressive.” Richards found that “Our collective busyness has become an offensive disease.” However, when we learn to step back from the habit of being busy, we will be able to experience a “sense of peace, purpose, health, mindful leadership, and a good dose of meaning and self-respect.”
Related: 5 Tips For Busy People
Signs you have busyness addiction
Do you think you are addicted to being busy? Has busyness become a habit for you? Then here are a few signs that will help you identify your busyness addiction.
1. Your schedule is always full
When you are addicted to busyness, you will constantly find your calendar full of tasks and activities you need to complete. If you manage to find any empty space in your schedule, you will compulsively look for activities to fill it up with. When you don’t have anything to do, you will feel like you are unnecessarily wasting time.
You will feel that you could have used this time to accomplish something or engage in other activities. “They may feel most satisfied when they see their calendar is completely full,” explains Kristen Gardenhire, LCSW.
2. You are overly social
“Busyness can often cause people to become ‘social butterflies,’ and they may feel a constant need to go from social engagement to social engagement,” writes Kristen. If you have a busyness addiction then you will likely become increasingly social.
You will find yourself going out whenever you can manage the time and be around your friends, acquaintances, and coworkers. Busyness addicts have difficulty in spending time with themselves. If you don’t like being alone or spending time in solitude, then it is highly likely that you are obsessed with being busy.
3. Everyone says you’re busy
Do your loved ones tell you that you’re always busy? Do your family and friends complain that you have no time to spend with them? An obvious sign of becoming a busyness addict is when other people tell you that you seem too busy.
However, sometimes our loved ones may not want to criticize us or bother us when we are busy with our schedules. So it can be a good idea to ask your friends and family what they think about your busyness. This will help to gain a different perspective and enable you to realize how your busyness addiction is affecting others.
4. Slowing down is hard
Is the process of slowing down in life a real challenge for you? Then you just might be addicted to being busy. “That adage ‘stop and smell the roses’ may seem cliché, but it can be hard to do for those who can’t stop being busy,” explains counselor Kristen Gardenhire.
Busyness can make it hard for you to be more mindful about your day and focus on the smaller details of the present moment as you are always focused on getting the next task complete.