I have been writing quite a bit about my family's purposeful decision to try and retain some of the "island life" -- some of the "overseas life" we came to love by not jumping back into the American busyness that seems so engrained in our culture.
We recognized quickly that upon our return to this awesome country we call home, we would have to make quick and immediate decisions in order to not return to "life as we knew it." And we have really been striving to do just that.
We still don't have cable. We have not scheduled ANY "required" weekly activities. We are avoiding video games. We have limited technology. We are being purposeful in events we put on our calendar. We are not eating fast food. Things like that.
Part of our desire to slow down factored into our decision to buy a farm, to remove ourselves from the suburban concrete grind, and try to find solace and peace in the more simple things. YES we will still be busy with our farm, but it is our hope that this busyness will be more purposeful and family-oriented.
I just stumbled across the blog post entitled: A Helpful Guide to Becoming Unbusy and loved the suggestions Joshua Becker offered to not finding ourselves in the grind. Here were some of his suggestions:
1. Realize that being busy is a choice. It is a decision we make. We are never forced into a lifestyle of busyness. The first, and most important, step to becoming less busy is to simply realize that our schedules are determined by us. We do have a choice in the matter. We don’t have to live busy lives.
2. Stop the glorification of busy. Busy, in and of itself, is not a badge of honor. In fact, directed at the wrong pursuits, it is actually a limiting factor to our full potential. It is okay to not be busy. Repeat this with me: It is okay to not be busy.
3. Appreciate and schedule rest. One of the reasons many of us keep busy schedules is we fail to recognize the value of rest. But rest is beneficial to our bodies, our minds, and our souls. Set aside one day per week for rest and family. Intentionally schedule it on your calendar. Then, guard it at all costs.
4. Revisit your priorities. Become more intentional with your priorities and pursuits in life. Determine again what are the most significant contributions you can offer this world. And schedule your time around those first. Busyness is, at its core, about misplaced priorities.
5. Own fewer possessions. The things we own take up far more time and mental energy than we realize. They need to be cleaned, organized, and maintained. And the more we own, the more time is required. Own less stuff. And find more time because of it.
6. Cultivate space in your daily routine. Take time for lunch. Find space in your morning to sit quietly before starting your day. Invest in solitude, meditation, or yoga. Find opportunity for breaks at work in between projects. Begin right away cultivating little moments of space and margin in your otherwise busy day.
7. Find freedom in the word, “no.” Seneca wrote, “Everybody agrees that no one pursuit can be successfully followed by a man who is preoccupied with many things.” Recognize the inherent value in the word “no.” Learning to say “no” to less important commitments opens your life to pursue the most important.