“Life is what happens while you are making other plans.” ~John Lennon
I am someone who enjoys doing a lot of different things, and yet I don’t always enjoy being busy. Sometimes when my schedule gets full, I feel almost as if I’ve lost a part of me.
Just like some people become codependent in relationships, I can be codependent with work. When it has my attention, everything else can easily fall to the wayside—my social life, my hobbies, you name it.
It’s all too easy to get caught up in a riptide of doing without ever evaluating what you’re sacrificing, why, and if it’s actually in your best interest.
Sometimes it is worth it, though you might need to make minor adjustments to enjoy the journey more. Other times you need to make major changes to experience the happiness you might think you’re chasing.
Here’s what I’ve been doing to ensure my busy-ness doesn’t compromise my happiness:
1. Assess just how busy you’re willing to be.
New research indicates that a key indicator of happiness is the distance between the hours you’d like to work and the hours you actually do. If you don’t want to work more than 40 hours per week because you have a hobby you’re passionate about, but you’re working over three hours more than that, you will inevitably feel dissatisfied.
In some cases, this may be beyond your control. If you just can’t afford your mortgage unless you push yourself, that’s one thing. But sometimes you do have a choice; you just think it’s too difficult to make it. Downsizing or moving into a new place may seem like an unnecessary hassle, but it’s worth the uncomfortable transition if it allows you to do with your time as you’d like.