Breaking Busy: 5 Myths to Let Go!

Breaking Busy 5 Myths

Sunday is my favorite day of the week because it’s the only day I don’t have to be somewhere, and, I often schedule my proclaimed “free” day with lots of activity. When a recent full Sunday was canceled due to weather, my inclination was to fill it back up with other things, until I remembered how vital breaking busy can be.

We seem obsessed with busy, believing it keeps us engaged, productive, and important and nothing could be further from the truth. As we experience what is touted as the busiest time of the year for many, it’s a great time to break your busy. Here are 5 myths you can let go of to help you:

  1. Busy is engaged.

    When I am too busy to listen fully to my partner, make an appointment for my mammogram, or spend the afternoon with my grandchildren, I am not engaged in my life. I am engaged in my busy and focused on all I think I have to do, not actually what is most important I can do.

  2. Busy is productive.

    When I run around with my hair on fire, (like everything is an emergency) because I am so busy, I am not focused, intentional or effective. It takes me longer to do things, I make more mistakes and I feel anxious and stressed, not productive.

  3. Busy is impressive.

    The busier I am has no reflection on how important I am. When I speak to senior healthcare leaders (CNOs, CEOs, and CMO’s) it’s not impressive to hear how busy they are, it’s impressive when they give me their full attention, even for a few minutes, and share their vision for their organization.

  4. Busy is fulfilling.

    When I am busy, I don’t take time to count my blessings, notice how beautiful the sunset is, or appreciate a meaningful conversation. Too much to do and not enough time to do it does not add to my fulfillment, it adds to my procrastination and a perpetual feeling of, I didn’t get enough done.

  5. Busy is resilient. 

    Busy is not resilient, it is exhausting. It does not add to my well-being because I can’t feel good about myself even after an accomplishment, (let alone celebrate it) because I am busy rushing off to the next thing on my list.

Busy is a habit and you are the only one who can break it by creating more time and space around everything you do. You can’t count on getting the gift of a cancellation as I did, but you can look at your schedule and decide what you can postpone, delegate, or eliminate. When you let go of what busy really means, your holiday (and your life) can be totally different. I’d love to hear how you do.


  1. Mary Tate on December 4, 2018 at 1:11 pm

    Absolutely believe this in my life. When people tell me how busy they are, I am not impressed, I feel sorry that they look overwhelmed? But it is comparing myself to others business that makes me feel like I should be busy, too! I like to be intentional, and that seems to leave a lot of busy noise behind.

    • Diane Sieg on December 6, 2018 at 12:11 pm

      Good for you Mary! Your words are wise as our intentions can let us rise above the busy noise. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Martha Ellinwood on December 4, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Diane- this is wise, true and so helpful to read again and again during holiday time or anytime.

    Thank you!

    • Diane Sieg on December 6, 2018 at 12:10 pm

      Thank you for your kind words, Martha. Wishing you the happiest of holidays to you in your new home.

  3. Terri Norvell on December 4, 2018 at 6:46 pm

    Great article and reminders for this very BUSY season! I always enjoy reading your perspective and glean nuggets of inspiration. Thanks Diane!

    • Diane Sieg on December 6, 2018 at 12:08 pm

      Thank you Terri. I’m happy to hear you find inspiration, especially now when we need it!

  4. Linda Knutson on December 4, 2018 at 7:40 pm

    Hi Diane,

    This is so great! I also enjoyed seeing the pictures from your trips in September. Congratulations on your engagement! I so hope I could join you in 2019 for your next trip.

    Happy Holidays!

    • Diane Sieg on December 6, 2018 at 12:07 pm

      Thank you Linda. I hope you can join us in 2019 too! More to come soon…

  5. Carol W Bilbro on December 6, 2018 at 1:17 pm

    Thank you for slowing me down this morning!

    • Diane Sieg on December 6, 2018 at 4:40 pm

      Good for you Carol! We ALL need to slow it down…

  6. Jann Engelstad on December 10, 2018 at 9:05 pm

    And with that, I am putting aside my “work” and going for a run!

    • Diane Sieg on December 11, 2018 at 4:10 am

      Good for you Jann!

  7. […] more family with all the extra time I think I should have. I may even self-medicate with sugar and busyness, even though I know it won’t help. And then I remember a self-leadership skill that will, […]

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