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the busy trap

Last week I sent a note out about how to overcome some common ways we get in our own way when we are trying to stick to a workout schedule. I want to dive into the first one… “The busy trap”…

It is funny how being “busy” has become the first thing that we all talk about. Think about it, when someone ask’s you “How have you been?!”, the first thing you probably say is, “Busy!”. When I sit down to chat with new MSC members about strategy for achieving their goals, the first thing I always hear is “I am just too busy to do as much as I would like to/want to” (LIKE TO and WANT TO are the operative words here). It breaks my heart to see people so stressed about their busy schedule they can barely function let alone do things they LIKE to and WANT to that will improve their health and make them all around more productive in their lives. The reality is that ALL my clients are busy, and as a coach, it is my job to help people navigate their busy lives, so I started to do some research on how I can help. I found some pretty crazy info on the psychology of saying we are busy! 

Hyper focus on being busy is actually making us less productive, causing more stress and making it even more challenging to make time to take care of ourselves. Check this stuff out:

  • The Neurology of Language: When you say “I am busy,” you’re not just expressing a state of being occupied but also reinforcing it through language. Neurologically, language shapes our perceptions and actions. Saying you’re busy can activate areas of the brain associated with stress and time pressure, which may influence your ability to focus on tasks effectively, making them take longer, and literally giving you LESS time to do things.
  • Self-Fulfilling Prophecy: Constantly stating you’re busy can create a self-fulfilling prophecy. WORDS MATTER PEOPLE! Your brain tends to work to align your actions with your words, so if you repeatedly affirm your busyness, you might subconsciously seek out tasks or distractions that validate this state, even if you could manage your time more efficiently.
  • Impact on Focus and Attention: Constantly reiterating busyness can affect your ability to concentrate. Your brain allocates attention to things that you perceive as important or urgent. If you constantly emphasize being busy, your brain might prioritize activities or thoughts related to busyness, potentially detracting from your ability to concentrate on the task at hand.
  • Perception of Time: Constantly expressing busyness can distort your perception of time. You might feel like you have less time available than you actually do, leading to rushed decision-making or a feeling of being overwhelmed. This perception can further exacerbate stress and hinder productivity.

So what do we do about it!? If you are struggling to find time to workout because you feel like you are too busy, try to flip the script! Using language that emphasizes control and prioritization like “I’m managing my time effectively” or “I’m focusing on important tasks,” or telling yourself “I have 5 minutes to work out today” rather than saying “I am too busy and ONLY have 5 minutes to workout today” can help you calm down and focus, get more stuff done and allow you more time to get in that workout. 

I hope this was helpful! Cheers to a productive and and effective week that allows for some YOU time:)


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