There is an epidemic sweeping the world these days.
It claims the lives of millions of hard-working JLPT-studying men and women every day.
And there seems to be no stop to its ruthless rampage of ruin.
I’m talking, of course, of the epidemic of busy-ness. It is almost everywhere you look these days.
You can see it ruining weekend plans:
Friend A: You want to go have some drinks this weekend?
Friend B: No, I’m too busy.
You can see it artificially-inflating people’s self-worth:
“Oh, I’m just so busy with all these projects I have.”
It has even struck whiny bloggers:
“I’m also extremely busy at the moment” – Mac from JLPTBootCamp.com
Symptoms of Busy-ness
1) Not being able to prioritize things
2) Letting to-do list/email/Facebook boss you around.
3) Using the word “busy” too much in general.
Possible Treatments for Busy-ness
If you suffer from busy-ness, don’t worry, it is a perfectly curable disease. Most afflicted people have reported a 100% recovery after following these simple cures:
Learn how to say no and yes.
There is always going to be more things to do than what you have time for. So, inevitable you are going to have to get your priorities straight and decide what is important to you right now at this moment in your life.
Is it really that important that you respond to all your friend’s Facebook posts right this second? Or could that wait for another moment when you are more free. A lot of times when we are ‘too busy’ to do something (like study) we are really just giving something else more priority. So making conscious decisions about what is priority and what isn’t can really cure your busy-ness.
I’m not saying be the person that sits in their room all day pouring over drill books and flashcards. You do need to balance your life after all, but just be conscious about you are giving priority, too. There are some things that can wait or are simply not necessary.
Choose to Make your Life less Full
Stick to small list of ‘have-to-get-dones’ for the day. These can be 3 things or 20 things depending on your schedule and how big the things are. But, just concentrate on completing those tasks, then you can go about checking your email, facebook, and all the other stuff.
You have the choice to make your life busy or not busy. You can check your email and web surf all day and be busy with that, but is that what you really want to do? Is that moving you forward toward your goal?
Stop Saying ‘Busy’
As somebody that is studying another language, you are probably well-aware of the power of words. Overusing a particular word or phrase seems to make it stronger or even more overwhelming than it really is.
And I am completely guilty of this one. Recently, I’ve found myself telling people I’m too busy to go do something, when in reality what I mean is ‘Hanging out with my baby is more important than sharing a few drinks with you at this moment in my life. I’m very sorry.’ But, that is just too touchy feely for a guy like me, so I resort to ‘I’m really busy.’
However, in general, I have started to avoid using the word ‘busy’ in order to avoid catching the epidemic. Instead, I try to explain my situation and what I’m doing at the moment and why that is important.
I’m slowly making progress on that front, but I feel like I’m at least a little more in charge of my life.
Take Control of your Life
I challenge you to take control of your life and reclaim some of the lost time that ‘busy’ has stolen from you. Again, I’m not saying you have to be Mr. Square, just consciously think about your priorities before resorting to ‘I’m too busy’.
What makes you too busy to get your studying done? Can you do without it? Can you reduce the time you spend with it? Let me know in the comments.
Photo by JoshBerglund19