As a multi-faceted woman who wears many hats (as all of us are) I tend to gauge my productivity based on the number of to-do boxes that I completed at the end of my day. You know, get my list out...smile smugly at how I am slaying the list and getting stuff done all over the place -go ME! Well my victorious self-back patting was interrupted one day while I was on the phone with another go-getting woman. While we were catching up on how we are amazing and getting it ALL done - they were talking about how they were so tired because they were sooooo busy. As we continued the conversation, I listened as they rattled of all of these activities they were sooooo busy doing that was causing this constant tired state. The more I listened, the more I heard what I thought was a bunch of action but nothing that reflected any real productivity.
In that moment of silent judgement (thinking: you are busy doing a bunch of nothing), I wondered if I was being judgmental of something I am guilty of. I took inventory of my checklist (that I write every morning and carryover what I didn't get done the day before) and realized some of these checked boxes of accomplishments that I am high-fiving and celebrating my awesome self for checking off --- are not boxes of productive actions, but boxes full of busy.
Consider the hats that you wear (mothers, business owners, employees, wives, students, friends, sisters, homeschooling teacher assistants.......) and the times that we are in. As life has become more remote, no one wants to feel as though they are not productive and moving forward; however, we cannot measure who we are or our level of successes by the boxes of busy we have completed.
I valued the list of checked busy boxes as a measurement of my awesomeness as a professional and multi-tasking queen. I let the memes of social media have me believe that my value and worth were tied to what I got done today. Never mind the fact that I was exhausted, making dumb mistakes (I once bought the same thing 3 times from Amazon sleepy-shopping ---but checked that box!) and beginning to always be just tired like the friend in the conversation.
Now I review my list and make sure that I am checking boxes of purpose. In doing so, I have time in my day to enjoy a real lunch, take a walk and even read pages in a book! If I've learned nothing else from the pandemic, life is short don't waste it on chasing boxes full of busy.
Have you found yourself doing this? What do you do to keep from being caught up in the to-do list hamster wheel?