Congrats on taking control of your Busyness (or Non-Busyness, depending on your results).
If you’re like most people, your quiz results revealed a combination of Busyness Personalities, because Busyness is complicated!
When you’re ready to move forward, simply locate your Busyness Personality below, where you will find your description followed by your next step.
The good news is, you don’t have a problem with over commitment or too little time. (Yay!) Rather, you have a problem managing the time you have.
You, my friend, are busy from morning till night. You let the loudest voice or most urgent thing dictate your schedule. When the bills are due, you pay them. When the groceries are out, you shop. When someone needs help, you’re there.
But at the end of your long, exhausting day, you look around and ask, “What in the world did I accomplish today?”
As “The Perplexed” you have probably described yourself as “a chicken with her head cut off.” Maybe others have described you as “chaotic,” “disorganized,” or “scatter-brained.” (ouch!)
This is because you haven’t defined what is important to you and what is not. Or maybe you have, but you don’t know how to live your life to reflect your priorities.
Your lack of planning and uncertainty about your priorities and your schedule leads to frustration, spinning wheels, and incomplete tasks.
Next Step for The Perplexed
Take some time to pray and fast about your priorities. Actually rank them. Seeing it in writing and deciding what is important to you will help you filter everything pulling at you. Here is a list of possible priorities (These are just suggestions. Use this list to spur your thinking)
God, Physical Well-Being, Home, Job, Ministry, Personal Growth, Marriage, Children, Extended Family, Friends, Other Activities.
The good news is, you do not have a problem with over-commitment! You know your priorities and you try hard to live a life that reflects them. You pay close attention to detail and you work at tasks until they are completed the right way. You’re an “all or nothing” kind of person. Go big or go home.
The bad news is, your attention to detail and your desire to get things done correctly means you spend waaaaaay too much time on each task. Truth be told, nothing is ever quite done to your satisfaction–even when you work on it for hours or days. Sometimes, the only reason you stop a task is because you’ve run out of time. And forget delegating! You’ve learned if you want something done right, you do it yourself.
What people may not know about you is If you can’t complete a task or project from start to finish, you won’t start it at all. This is paralyzing. It means you have many projects and piles of clutter looming over you, screaming for your attention, which causes a sense of overwhelm and dread.
Next Step for The Perfectionist
Set a Timer! When you set out to tackle an overwhelming task, determine the amount of time you will relegate to it, and set the timer. When the timer goes off, stop. Go do something else. As a fellow Perfectionist, I will tell you, I use a timer every single day. It helps me begin giant projects that paralyze me (“I’ll work for 15 minutes and then stop.”) or projects on which I tend to work for longer than I should. (“I will work on this newsletter for 1 hour. When the hour is up, I will hit ‘publish,’ even if it’s not perfect.”)
The good news is, you don’t have a time-management problem. You are doing the best you can with the amount of things you’re committed to.
The bad news is, you have an over-commitment problem. You take on way too much, often sacrificing prayer, sleep, or recreation to get it all done.
As a Reflector, you tend to look around at what your peers are doing (or what you think they are doing) and you try to REFLECT that image. More than other Busyness Personality types, you feel a deep sense of importance and worth when people notice your accomplishments or compare you favorably to your friends, and feel sorely inadequate when they don’t. You have fallen victim to The Comparison Trap.
You may not ever admit this out loud, but keeping up the outer appearance is vitally important to you.
If you work outside the home, you are especially vulnerable to the approval and expectations of your boss and how you look to her in comparison to your colleagues. If you are a mom, you are especially vulnerable to the “standard” set by other moms in your social circle–the size or cleanliness of their homes, the number and quality of activities in which their kids participate, etc. Your measuring stick for success is how you stack up against other “successful” people–whomever the “successful” person is to you. Therefore, you often commit to things you cannot do or should not do, just to keep pace with these people or with the image you want to project.
Next Step for The Reflector
Every evening before bed, write down at least one thing you want to remember forever and ever about today. Be on the lookout throughout the day for beautiful moments in your life. Gratitude is the antidote to the Comparison Trap.
Here’s the good news: people like you. You are the first person your friends and family think of when they need something–a ride to the airport, last-minute childcare, help with the big work project. This is because you always show up. Always.
Here’s the bad news: you always show up because you are afraid to let people down. You enjoy the affirmation you receive when people tell you how much they need you. You hate to disappoint anyone, ever. So you say “yes” to everyone. In fact, you feel probably believe it’s your Christian duty to serve others in this way, even to the detriment of your own desires and priorities.
Therefore, you truly have too much on your plate. You take on more than is humanly possible and cram too much into life. Your “yesses” to everyone else mean you are always saying “no” to yourself. You sacrifice prayer, sleep, and recreation because you don’t know how to say “no” to anyone you love (and maybe even to people you don’t love.)
Next Step for The People Pleaser
Learn to delay your response. Before you say “yes” to anyone, stop. Let this be your new mantra: “Let me check my calendar and get back to you on that.” Simply providing some separation between the person asking for your time and your response to that request can give you the clarity to make a wise decision.
The good news is, you do not have a time-management problem. You have a “too much on your plate” problem.
The bad news is, you truly believe you have no control over this. Between your job, your spouse’s job, your kids’ activities, and all your volunteer commitments, you sincerely cannot see any place to cut. Of all the Busyness Personality Types, you are most likely to have extenuating life circumstances–maybe a chronically ill child, or a spouse who travels extensively, or you are the sole financial provider for your family.
Therefore, if someone were to guide you through every item on your schedule, you’d defend each thing, arguing with much passion why it is vital to your existence and to the existence of all mankind. You believe life dealt you a bad hand–worse than most people. Your lot in life is to be perpetually busy, because your circumstances demand it. It is what it is.
Next Step for the Defender
Get some help. You believe you cannot get anything off your plate (this may or may not be true), so the best thing for you to do today is to get help with something ON your plate. Hire help. Delegate a task. Hold a family meeting and redistribute chores. Even small changes can make a big difference in your margin throughout the week.
Of all the Busyness Personality types, you are the most efficient and productive in all the land. This is because you have an insatiable inner drive that pushes you far beyond limits and expectations–even your own!
You love living at a fast pace, and often get frustrated with those who can’t keep up. If someone were to record your thoughts and words in a day, your most often-used phrase would be, “hurry up.” You actually get a little frustrated when people advise you to slow down–what’s the point? When you do stop, your mind continues to race. You become bored with inactivity. Being a “non-busy person” sounds miserable to you.
People often ask you how you “do it all,” and you take great pride in this. You know you have a lot on your plate–maybe even too much–but you like it this way.
This constant high-paced, high-achievement life can be to your own detriment. Your relationships may suffer. Your friends and family may wish you would slow down and spend some time with them. You may be missing some vital moments with your children. You probably don’t have much flexibility in your day, so you can’t be available if someone truly needs you at the last minute. You may not be getting enough sleep.
When you finally crash–and you will–you are as surprised as anyone to discover that you are not Wonder Woman. In fact, you may not be convinced of this, even now, as you read this description. You may not see a need to adjust anything in your schedule. And of all the Busyness Personality types, you are the least likely to stop and take a quiz about personality types.
Next Step for The Achiever
You’re a tough one, because you are least likely to believe you need to change. Do yourself just one small favor: Go to the person who loves you the most (your spouse, your child, your best friend) and ask them to give it to you straight. “Do you think I’m too busy?” Then listen to what that person says. Really listen. If they tell you they think you could benefit from some margin in your schedule or some “down time,” then ask them for ideas as to what that might look like, in their opinion. You may be surprised what you will glean from this simple conversation.
The Non-Busy Person
The good news is, you do NOT have a problem with being overly-busy! This is a tremendous gift to yourself and to your family. Your go-with-the-flow attitude allows you to rest, relax, and remain flexible. In this age, you are a rare breed–the least common of all Busyness Personalities! You like the pace you have chosen and don’t want anyone to control your schedule or YOU.
The bad news is, on the busyness spectrum, you may find yourself struggling on the extreme of Laziness. And this is something you do not like about yourself.
As much as you love unstructured, quiet days, you sometimes feel guilty for failing to accomplish certain duties. You have tasks you’d like to do or need to do, maybe a club you’d like to join, or a career you’d like to try, only you lack motivation to get started. When faced with the choice of working or watching Netflix, you’d probably choose the latter (Netflix won’t watch itself, you know!) In other words, you’d like to accomplish more, sure, but you wouldn’t trade your freedom for productivity. You love your freedom–a lot!
Next Step for the Non-Busy Person
Make a list of your gifts and talents. If you aren’t sure what they are, ask your spouse or your best friend what they like best about you or where they think you shine. Now, can you think of a small way to love the people around you by offering them a little bit of that…of you? No one wants you to over-commit. We just want you to be the very best version of you–and that happens when your life is a little more well-balanced.
The Well-Balanced Person
Congratulations! You know your priorities and you do a great job of living them out. You’re not perfect, and you’re okay with that. You’re not like your friends, and you’re okay with that, too.
Though busyness tends to creep up on you from time to time, you do a fantastic job at recognizing it early and adjusting your schedule accordingly. You understand your gifts and your boundaries. You are not afraid to say no when you need to, even when it disappoints your loved ones. You understand the important role prayer, rest, and self-care play in your life, and you carve out time for them.
In a word, you love God and other people well. And because of all of this, you are generally happy, peaceful, and centered. You are probably a great source of inspiration to other people who seek Balance.
Next Step for the Well-Balanced Person
Find someone to take under your wing. People are hungry for the Balance you have. They need your wisdom and insight. It may come quite naturally to you, but most people struggle with Balance. I trust you to decide the amount of time you can dedicate to this…you’re quite good at balancing your priorities.
If you would like to lead people through a structured program, I’d love for you to consider Finding Your Balance.