7 Ways to Treat Your Case of The Busyness Epidemic
Do you remember being three and pulling out your mother's prom dresses from the bottom drawer of the armoire? Feverishly slipping inside the dress that is eight sizes too big and believing for every second that you truly are a queen that's about to change the world? No? Well, maybe you had a cowboy hat and a matching sheriff badge. But you had something that made you believe in the greatness of something, someone— or even yourself.
I once sat in a seminar while the brilliant, creative producer Mark Swanhart told a room full of bright-eyed and bushy-tailed dance majors that he dedicates an entire day a week to his creative instinct. We were stunned but intrigued. Could one really live so freely? I challenge you to find out: designate an entire day to listening to your whisper of creative intuition. Wake up— sure, have a cup of coffee— and do whatever you want to do. Let the smell of coffee make you think of a newspaper; go out and find the local newspaper only to let that make you think of an old man sitting on the bench in a park; go find the park. And so on and so on. Just let yourself wander only allowing yourself to act upon your innermost impulses.
Creative impulses: remember those things? The relentless itch to create something that is so honestly a piece of you— an itch triggered by a fleeting moment of flirtation with inspiration. As we grow older, these creative impulses seem to get buried beneath an ever growing pile of nagging responsibility and the monotony of daily routine. But, does it have to be like this? Creativity doesn’t have to be as grand as everyone tries to make it, it can simply exist as thoughts being put into action. Imagine what you could create if you set a day aside once a week to get up and listen to what's speaking to you right in that very moment. Where would it take you, how would you change?
There is this thing that I call the “busyness epidemic.” It's that paranoia that creeps up when you get home from work and actually have a half hour to yourself. Usually you fill it with mindless scrolling— it's just easier to take in someone else’s day rather than your own— but what if you took the time to make those 30 minutes the most mindful of the day?
This doesn't mean you have to ponder life by any means. Truthfully, it means the exact opposite. Allow for some empty space to form in your mind. Now, new thoughts can germinate, maybe even be recognized— maybe before you blow up on your boyfriend for no good reason at all when he tells you he wants pizza and not Chinese take-out. Allow your mind the very same time to reboot that you afford your computer. Don't let yourself short circuit. It is a well known fact, thanks to Facebook, that multitasking is not humanly possible and in the effort to constantly achieve the impossible, you are doing yourself a disservice. Next time you are on break at work or waiting for your ride, don't scroll through Instagram for the 74th time—yes, the average 18-24 year old checks their phone 74 times a day— just actually sit and wait. Observe people in real life rather than on a screen. Notice what you observe, note what catches your attention and what fails to keep it. Maybe even ask yourself why?
For centuries now the power of individual's creativity has changed the world. Your next idea could be revolutionary? So don't do the world a disservice and not even let that idea come into fruition because your mind was too cluttered with the latest brand advertisement on instagram.
All I ask is that you do not allow for your creativity to become another victim of the busyness epidemic. Rather give yourself permission to act upon those crazy creative impulses that are just dying to be noticed, so one day you too will change the world.
7 Ways to Treat Your Case of the Busyness Epidemic:
1. Set aside time to routinely follow your creative impulses
2. Designate a time at night in which you turn your phone off completely
3. Simply ask yourself, “What do I want right here, right now?” and then do it
4. Skip take out for the 4th night in a row and make dinner, this doesn’t mean meal prep for the week, it means make yourself that delicious meal you deserve
5. Always leave early and walk slower so you can focus on your surroundings
6. Find a bench and people watch
7. Ask questions about others!
DO YOU HAVE ANY TIPS TO ADD TO THIS LIST? We'd love to hear -- comment below!