Just a quick reminder that Fitness Friday is on hiatus. Don’t be sad. It will be back soon. Read this instead! Do it while you’re drinking an organic fruit smoothie and it will feel just like Fitness Friday.
Missed Part Seven? Click here.
The following scenario is completely and totally fictional.
This morning I woke up, and as I do every morning, turned on the burner beneath the teakettle and started unloading the dishwasher. The dishes were still wet, so I reached to grab a dishtowel off the rack. Noticing the dishtowel was dirty, I replaced it with a clean towel from the drawer and walked to the laundry room to put the dirty one in the hamper.
When I got to the laundry room, I noticed a pile of dirty clothes I threw on the floor last night that I intended to put in the washing machine, but forgot. I lifted the lid to the washing machine to put in the dirty laundry and saw a wet load I never put in the dryer. I opened the dryer to put in the wet load and saw a dry load I forgot to fold. Since the dry load was now completely wrinkled, I set the dryer for a few minutes to “tumble press” and headed to my closet to grab some hangers for the dry load.
When I got to my bedroom, I noticed I had not yet made the bed. I did that quickly, but when I pulled back my sheets, I found my daughter’s blankie she left in my bed yesterday. I ran upstairs to put the blankie away and saw that my kids left the upstairs bathroom a wreck. I started picking up towels and dirty clothes off the floor and decided that I might as well just clean the bathroom while I was in there. While cleaning, I made a mental note that I needed toilet paper and toothpaste. Knowing I would forget to write down toilet paper and toothpaste if I waited until I was done scrubbing the toilet, I ran downstairs to write it on my list.
I turned off the screaming tea kettle—deciding I would just have to have tea later—and dug into my pile of papers looking for my Target list. As I was digging I found an unopened bill that failed to make it to the bill pile. Opening it, I saw it was due today. Grrrrrr. I picked up the phone to make a payment. While listening to the extremely pleasant and calm automated lady, I glanced over at the dishwasher and noticed I never unloaded it…and I wondered why I’m always so busy, but never seem to accomplish anything.
Why oh why is Poor Little Fictional Girl so busy? Does she have too many commitments? Too few hours in the day? Too many kids? Too much, too little, too late? (Johnny Mathis)
Understanding our Busy Type can help us cut to the core of our busyness issues. So today I’m offering you my very own descriptions of Busy People, based on little more than my obsession with psychoanalyzing and solving everyone’s problems with busyness, including my own. Totally scientific and legit. See if you can identify yourself in any of these.
The Poor Time Manager Busy Person (PTMBP):
The frazzled mom in the example above (who again, is a totally fictional character, not based on me at all) is a PTMBP. She feels unproductive in everything she does, appears to be running around like the proverbial chicken with it’s head cut off (which I’ve never actually seen, but heard it’s pretty gruesome). She does not have a problem with over commitment or too little time. Rather, she has a problem just managing the commitments and time she has. At the end of her long, exhausting day, she looks around and asks herself, “What in the world did I accomplish today?” Her poor time management is probably a result of one of the following:
1.She doesn’t know her priorities. She’s not sure what’s important and what is not, so she basically let’s the loudest voice or the most urgent thing dictate her schedule. When the bills are due, she pays them. When the groceries run out, she shops. When someone needs help, she’s there. Her lack of planning and ignorance of what’s most important leads to frustration and spinning wheels.
2.She knows her priorities, but she doesn’t know how to live them out. She knows she doesn’t need a perfect house. She knows she doesn’t have to cook gourmet meals each night. She knows it doesn’t really matter if the upstairs bathroom is a mess or the laundry sits until she finishes unloading the dishwasher. She knows she shouldn’t stay on the phone for three hours or play on Facebook until midnight (again, the character is totally fictional and not at all based on me), but she has a hard time disciplining herself to live those things out. Thus, she finds herself sucked into sitting on the computer for an hour (or three) while her other obligations take a back seat. Then at the end of the day, she beats herself up for wasting time, vowing to do better tomorrow, but the cycle repeats itself.
3.She is a perfectionist. She knows her priorities and she attempts to live them out, but she spends way too much time doing each activity just right. She can’t make a quick trip to the grocery store because she needs her menu plan, her list (written in the order of the aisles) and her coupons. She’d never dream of inviting someone over for dinner without cleaning the entire house from top to bottom and serving her best meal. She can’t stand to have anything half done. To her, if she isn’t going to do it right, she won’t bother doing it at all. She prioritizes well enough, but always finds herself stuck in the rut of details.
Then we have the Over Committed Busy Person (OCBP).
She truly has too much on her plate. She tries to defy laws of nature by taking on more than is humanly possible and cramming too much into life. She often sacrifices prayer, sleep and recreation to accomplish all she’s committed to. She’s probably this way for one of the following reasons:
1. She doesn’t know how to say “no.” She’s a people pleaser and likes the affirmation she receives when she steps in and takes over. She doesn’t want to disappoint anyone so she says yes to everything.
2.She feels trapped and believes she has no control over her schedule. Between her job, her spouse’s job, her kids’ activities and all her volunteer commitments, she sincerely cannot see any place to cut one single thing back. If you were to take her through each and every item on her schedule, she’d have a convincing reason as to why each thing it vital to her existence and the existence of all mankind.
3. She doesn’t see the value of a non-busy life. Time is money. To her Busy=Productive=Spiritual =Godly. Un-busy= unproductive=lazy=none for me, thanks.
Do you see yourself in there anywhere? Personally, I’m a Poor Time Manager Busy Person with a problem living out my priorities and a touch of perfectionism. I’m a PTMBPWAPLOMPAATOP.
How do we break free from this cycle and this incredibly long acronym????? Come back next time for some very practical solutions. Until then…
Please tell me, What kind of busy person are YOU?
For Part Nine, click Here.