How Did I Get So Busy? : The 28-day Plan to Free Your Time, Reclaim Your Schedule, and Reconnect with What Matters Most
Do you feel stressed, overworked, like you're running on empty? Are you caught in the race to get it all done--with little time to enjoy the rewards life has to offer?
There's no doubt about it: these days we are just too busy. With the conveniences of technology, we're compelled to get more done in less time and end up constantly striving for the next thing - rarely stopping to consider if it's something we even want. As a result, we end up missing out on the things that truly matter: our relationships, the activities we love, quiet time to reflect and replenish our energy.
Valorie Burton's How Did I Get So Busy? is the solution for anyone who feels perpetually overwhelmed and overworked: a simple, effective 28-day program to help you rediscover your true priorities, shift out of overdrive, and reclaim your life and schedule. Built around Burton's "Ten Commandments of Self-Care," each day presents an easy-to-follow task to help you strip away the meaningless activities that occupy your time and make room for what nourishes you--mind, body, and spirit. The tasks are simple but yield big rewards:
Take a full hour for lunch
Set "no-email" periods
Add fun goals to your to-do list
End your day "on purpose" - meaning that you decide when to leave the office, head home, and fall asleep.
Uplifting and inspiring, How Did I Get So Busy? offers an easy way to be rid of the busywork that fills our days and rediscover the life you've always wanted.
Burton, a certified professional coach (What's Really Holding You Back?), addresses the problem of rushed and overloaded lives in sympathetic, persuasive language, confessing that she, too, was once part of the "busyness epidemic." She draws a firm distinction between being successful (reaping financial gain or status) and being fulfilled (living, working and loving in a way that brings you emotional and spiritual satisfaction). Above all, she believes busyness is often based in fear and interferes with the primary job of life: making authentic connections with others. Burton pushes the reader to make deep but simple shifts : taking all your vacation days every year and leaving the office for at least a half-hour during the day will allow you to set healthy boundaries. She outlines what she calls a "self-care lifestyle," which promotes living well and in balance. Exercise, good health habits and pampering are crucial, she says. Each of the 28 short chapters ends with a challenge, a five-minute journal exercise and a one-minute meditation. Burton's book is a wakeup call, an effective and inspiring plan for change. (Dec. 26) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information. -- PUBLISHERS WEEKLY.
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Three Rivers Press
December 25, 2007
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Excerpt from How Did I Get So Busy? by Valorie Burton
Introduction: How Busy Are You?
I think it is important that the question of managing time be addressed in a realistic manner. The reality is that everyone feels pressed for time and it is not going to change as we become more technologically advanced and everything we do can be done in an instant by allegedly "working smarter, not harder."
"I want to know, how do I find more time without cutting my standard of living?"
Do you find yourself rushing from one activity to the next, from the time you wake up in the morning until you go to sleep at night? Has your to-do list grown from just a list in your day planner to scraps of paper and Post-its scattered all over your office and home? Is your social life disappearing because you don't have time for friends and fun? And do you feel that lately life has become the proverbial rat race-where you are constantly moving forward at an ever-more-frantic pace, yet experiencing very little of the joys and rewards life has to offer?
If you are like most people, you're probably running nearly all the time. I've been there, as have many of my clients over the years. No doubt you'd like for your schedule to be different, or have even found yourself thinking, "I really need to make a change." When "busyness" becomes all-consuming, many of us know deep down that something's got to give-but we're too busy to figure out how or what that change should be!
I believe that your path has crossed mine and that you've picked up this book for a reason: so that you can finally take control of your schedule, create room to breathe, and make time for the people and activities that matter most. The problem with being too busy is that you lose your sense of self. In the race to get it all done, you give up the experience of being fully engaged in anything. The joys of life, such as a meaningful conversation or a healthy, home-cooked meal, become hassles or impediments to getting other things done. The commitments you love, like your work or favorite hobbies, can become burdensome because they only add to your heavy load. Fortunately, change doesn't have to be difficult. It must, however, be intentional.
Close your eyes for a moment and imagine your life filled with what brings you happiness, peace, and success-at a pace that feels good and with a level of activity that gives you energy rather than saps it. Your life can be different-just 28 days from now. It begins with your decision to change. I will help you delve deep . . . so you can notice the fears that ultimately crowd your schedule with things you don't really want or need to do. I will help you get real about what you can actually accomplish in a day. And I will walk with you every step of the way.
Busyness was my way of life for years, and I was afraid to make a change-afraid that not being busy would mean my career would suffer, and hence my income would suffer, too; afraid that if I wasn't busy, then something must be wrong; and afraid to say "no" to people when their requests left me feeling overloaded with another "to-do." It wasn't until my busy lifestyle became a burden that I realized how out of balance my life was. Love and friendships take nurturing. Good health, a body you love, and time for rest and relaxation require intentional actions. All of this takes time, yes, but there is enough time in the day to do what you were created to do. They key is identifying what's essential at this stage of your journey. For the next 28 days, I will guide you step-by-step toward understanding how you've become so busy and taking the actions that will empower you to free your time, reclaim your schedule, and reconnect with what matters most.
To be clear, this book is not about time management. It's not about getting organized. It is about you. It is about helping you get clear about what has driven you to overload your schedule and create the kind of lifestyle that allows you enough space to be your best self, experience the best in your relationships, and reach your potential in your work. Of course, whenever we set out to make a change, there is often that little internal voice that begins chiming in with doubts and pessimism. "You don't really think you can take control of your schedule in just 28 days, do you? You want success and time to rest, have fun, and spend quality time with your spouse, significant other, family, and friends? Get real!" Refuse to let that voice dissuade you.
Getting real is exactly what you are doing. The way you've been living isn't working for you-that's the reality. And now is the time to do something about it.
As life moves faster, we are compelled to do more. As a result, our lives aren't just overloaded, but lived in overdrive. It is an epidemic that, for many of us, is spiraling out of control.