It’s hard to say when it happened, but somehow, *busy* became a synonym for *productive*. While it’s true that being productive usually equals being busy, being busy doesn’t mean you’re productive. Part of productivity is knowing when to rest and recharge. Busy is spinning your wheels and not allowing your brain to rest, which is pretty important when it comes to thinking clearly. Not to mention that having a balance between work, relationships, downtime, etc. prevents one overtaking another to the tipping point.
But, since we never really see our patterns until they’re laid out in front of us, you might not even realize that you’ve fallen into a busy black hole. With some help from LifeHack, here are some signs that you might be too busy.
1. You can’t remember the last time you took a day off.
Like we said in the first paragraph, rest and relaxation help increase productivity. If you never take a break, you’re over fatigued, and that means you’re not working at 100%. It’s like taking rest days in your workout: when you come back, you’ll be able to go even harder.
2. Close friends have stopped asking to hang out.
Loved ones will probably be persistent, since you know...they love you, but friends will drop away. All relationships need to be a two-way street to be functional. But really, before any of that happens: you need to give with zero expectation of return. But, if you have no time to give, you won’t get anything in return.
3. You multitask everything, including meals.
Using time efficiently is one thing, but it’s another if you’re using drive time to eat meals, catch up on emails, etc. If you can’t take the time to eat in peace, re-adjust your schedule and workload to give yourself at least a few minutes to focus on a meal.
4. You’re more tired when you get up in the morning than you were at bedtime.
Morning fatigue is the clearest sign of a too-busy schedule. Basically, it means you’ve got too much on your mind, and your body isn’t able to shut down and get the rest it needs overnight. Think about that: your mind is so overworked that it can’t refresh.
5. The only exercise you get is walking from meeting to meeting.
It’s a fact that exercise is key to maintaining physical, mental and emotional health. If you’re too busy to get a workout in (whether it’s a jog, yoga class, or taking your dog for a walk), you’re neglecting yourself. It’s not selfish to do what is best for you!
6. Waking up fills you with dread.
Building off of number four: waking up, and feeling dread at the thought of the day, is a sign that you’ve chewed off a bit more than you can handle. A new day doesn’t have to make you spring out of bed, but you shouldn’t have a sense of foreboding every morning, either.
7. You never feel caught up.
If survival mode is your normal mode, it’s time to relax and start looking for ways to cut back. Telling yourself that it’s temporary is a Band-Aid solution to a long-term problem. The road from *too much* to *much less* is not always easy, but necessary for your health, relationships and happiness.
If you read a few of these and recognized yourself, take note. Even small adjustments, like building time into your day to hit the gym, can affect other areas positively. And that goes for productivity, too.