Stop Being Busy and Start Being Intentionally Active
By Monica Y Mateo
I haven’t blogged in a very long time. I wish I can say that I have been “busy.” That is such a great word to throw around when we give excuses or want to feel highly important. “Ugh, I’ve just been too busy to get back to you or too busy to hang out.” In truth, it’s not that I’ve been too busy — my time and values have simply changed. In the changing process I’ve pulled back (even from things I love, like writing).
My blogs were beginning to lose it’s authenticity — to me anyway. The real purpose of my blog is not to become some awesome viral author, but to connect. So I haven’t been busy — I’ve been living.
My life has changed and not by anything radical — I simply started to look at things in my life and finally ask myself hard questions. So I started with completely and ruthlessly cleaning out my home. I donated, tossed and donated some more things that no longer served a purpose in my life. I paid off debt that was hanging over my shoulder and I have been trying to detox from electronics. My following suffered only slightly ( I stopped doing IG yoga for a while because I didn’t like the high ego involved in IG) But I am happier because of it. I no longer waste time trying to take a perfect picture. I have time to read, play with my son and think.
I had forgotten how much I had lost my ability to sit down and think. I used to grab for my phone the minute I sat on my sofa. Grab for my phone mid cooking. Grab for my phone.. grab for my phone and grab for my phone. I refuse. I refuse to live my life glued to electronics, fake relationships, and constant connection.
I no longer need to text anyone RIGHT back. Sometimes I do, but mostly I don’t. I’m learning not to feel guilty about it. I also don’t worry about pleasing others anymore. I am living. In the times we are living in, we are losing so much in a world that tells us we don’t have enough. We are always trying to find the next best thing to make us “happy.” The next best thing to change our lives.
We are especially fixated on being “busy.” We over-schedule our calendars, we make commitments we don’t like to keep, we say “yes” when we want to say “no.” We fill our time endlessly and without breaks because society needs us to be busy. If we aren’t busy than we are … lazy?
How to let go of being busy and start intentionally being active:
- Put down your phone. It’s nothing but a distraction — you are losing time, hours, days just staring at a phone. The phone has become such a crutch that we no longer feel comfortable in silence. We need to watch youtube videos, text friends, respond to emails, check social media. Scroll… scroll.. scroll.. and finally when you look up from your glowing hands — you realize how much time has escaped you. You abandoned reality because you were living in someone else’s timeline and feed.
- Turn off the TV. You don’t realize how much you can get done when you actually get it done. Instead of stopping randomly and stare glazed eyes at the TV, turn it off. Let your thoughts wonder, allow your imagination to run wild, and get things done that you’ve been putting off since you were just ya know, so busy before.
- Read a book. When was the last time you sat down and read a book? Allowed your mind to run off in an adventure and create a movie in your mind? There is nothing better than reading and finding a new story to imagine. Americans aren’t reading as much as we should and our kids are picking up on that. We need to read and fall back in love with literature again.
- Single-task. Do one damn thing. We pride ourselves in multi-tasking but chances are you’re half-assing it and not fully focused. We love to use that term in interviews like it enhances our chances of the job. Single-task at work and at home. If you’re playing with your child, PLAY WITH YOUR CHILD. Don’t get up to cook, clean, or check your phone. Play. If you’re cooking, then cook. If you’re cleaning, then clean. Do one single task and do it well. If you’re at work then finish what is in front of you. If you get distracted by your boss, simply take the new assignment and diligently complete the first and move on.
- Turn off social media. You will never intentionally be active in a task or project if you are glued to social media. Log off. Seriously, log off. What are you truly gaining from it? What are you truly learning or accomplishing from it? Are you a better person because of it? Are you happier because of it? Do you really have more friends? Log off.
- Don’t post what you’re working on. Someone who is intentionally active doesn’t post that they are intentionally active. But you’ll find a lot of busy people posting how busy they are or what they are working on, etc.
- Say no to things you don’t want to do. Easy enough right? Yet, many of us say yes to engagements we truly don’t have time for or don’t want to attend. There is nothing wrong with saying no. There is nothing wrong in not attending every single event. There is nothing wrong with giving yourself time and space. Just make sure it’s for the right reasons.
About the author:
Monica Y. Mateo is a licensed social worker by day and writer/blogger by night. She is the author of her first memoir, The Cancer Warrior available on Amazon.com. She is the owner of Bodhi Bookstore, an online experience offering an intimate connection for authors and readers. It’s for those who cherish books and believe that reading is an experience meant to take you on a journey. It’s about escaping our world and diving into the minds of great authors.
She is also the founder of The Chic Warriors Movement. A chic way to handle the chaos of life. It is a way to overcome hardships and trauma like a true warrior. It is understanding that life can be challenging, but with the right attitude — can be magnificent. It is the journey to heath and healing!
Monica Y. Mateo is a 8 year survivor of Anaplastic Large Cell Lymphoma ALK+, which taught her that people can change unhealthy patterns and behaviors. She enjoys yoga and practices Buddhism, which has taken her on an adventure of a lifetime.
Disclaimer: MONICAYMATEO.COM is not providing medical advice and this information is not in place of medical advice.