I’m running on two hours of sleep, I still have 100 things left on my to-do list, I don’t have time to take a breath and I can’t remember the last time I did something for myself.

Does this sound familiar?

We are led to believe that being busy is admirable. We live our lives harried and stressed, and we wear those adjectives like a badge of honor.

This glorification of busy is hurting us, and it’s hurting us badly.

We associate being busy with being in demand, being indispensable at work and being productive. We equate success to sleep deprivation, non-stop work and loaded schedules.

This attitude forces us to steal from other areas in our lives, such as our sense of happiness, curiosity, enjoyment and wonder. We no longer have the time, let alone the energy, to appreciate all things good and beautiful in the lives that we have cultivated.

(Source:Laurie McAdam/Modesto Bee/MCT)
(Source:Laurie McAdam/Modesto Bee/MCT)

Hurry and hustle are our mantras and slamming the snooze button is our game. We’re flying down the dangerous path of burnout. It’s true, life is busy and complicated. But it’s time we start focusing on how to prioritize the things that truly matter, like family, relationships and having a positive effect on the world.

At any time, we can choose to redefine the definition of busy. Additionally, we can choose to stop adoring busy lifestyles.

Consider sleep, for starters, which really is a necessity. No matter how healthy or how strong we are, a lack of sleep will eventually catch up with us. We need sleep to heal our bodies, enhance our memories, boost our creativity, improve productivity and even keep stress in check.

By saying no to sleep, we aren’t saying yes to more hours in the day. Instead, we are saying no to numerous vital health benefits.

Take time to nurture your own wellbeing by carving out periods of time for a recharge. Take five minutes to meditate or reflect on your day without judging your thoughts.

Take a short walk outside or even just breathe and relax for a moment. We can’t constantly live our lives in overload, and it can be easy to carve out just a brief moment of peace.

Think about the instant benefits of unplugging from all technology. You can instantly remove a list of distractions from your life. Let’s face it, we can become overly connected on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram. But often times, social media, voicemails, texts and emails can wait until after dinner with your loved ones or a good night’s rest.

As students, we all have to deal with at least some type of work that we don’t love. Even so, it’s important that we balance that with things we do love. What if you had to spend at least an hour a week the way you’d like to spend eternity? Pursue the things that make you happy and ignite the energy within you.

Give yourself permission to redefine how you see busy. Get a grip on your day and find a way to enjoy it more. A day with carefully considered priorities will upgrade your life. I’m convinced of it.

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