Ep #56: The Truth About Busy

Strong as a Working Mom with Carrie Holland | The Truth About Busy
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Busy is a word that gets tossed around quite regularly, and as a result, we have reached a point where being busy doesn’t really hold much meaning anymore. It has become something we simply say. Almost everyone describes themselves as busy, so what does it truly signify?

Does being busy imply having an excessive amount of tasks to complete and insufficient time to accomplish them? Does it mean that your mind is occupied with thoughts but you’re not making any progress? Does it indicate that you’re working vigorously or that you’re overcommitted to things that hold little significance to you? Most importantly, what is the cost of being busy? Tune in to find out.

If you believe you are too busy to start working towards your health or weight loss goals, listen in this week to discover what you can do about it. I break down the different types of busyness, help you identify which category you fall into, and provide you with tips to shake things up so that you don’t miss out or burn out while caught up in the busyness.

Are you ready to eat, move, and think in a way that gets you strong both physically and mentally? You deserve to have both no matter how busy you are, and I can help. I’m opening up my one-on-one coaching program for new clients, and I would love to work with you. Click here to learn more about working with me.

Be sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook so I can follow along and engage with you!

What You Will Discover:

  • 2 very distinct forms of being too busy, and why the differences matter.
  • How I assist clients who believe they’re too busy to prioritize their health goals.
  • Why you likely have significantly more time than you think.
  • The origins of your thoughts about being too busy for exercise and food preparation.
  • How to recognize the ways in which you convince yourself that you’re busier than you actually are.
  • What you can do right now to begin feeling less overwhelmed.

Listen to the Full Episode:

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Full Episode Transcript:

You are listening to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast, Episode #56. If you’re too busy, let’s talk about what that means and what to do about it.

Welcome to the Strong as a Working Mom podcast. If you’re balancing career, family, wellness, and some days sanity, you are in the right place. This is where high-achieving, busy, working moms get the tools they need to eat, move, and think. I’m your host, physician, personal trainer, and Certified Life Coach, Carrie Holland. Let’s do this.

Hey, how are you? What’s new, what’s good? So, what’s good here, is that we are going to talk about what it means to be too busy, and what to do about it. I want to dig into this because the word busy is ubiquitous; everyone is busy. It’s become part of our daily language. It’s a word that gets tossed around pretty regularly and is generally overused.

As a result, I think we’ve gotten to a place where being busy doesn’t really mean anything anymore, it’s just what we say. Kind of like when someone asks, how are you? And you answer, fine. Fine doesn’t really mean anything. Unless you ask my husband, who shared with me that it actually stands for “feelings I’m not expressing.” I had no idea about that one, by the way, but it’s so true. More on fine in a future episode.

I know I say it all the time, but please show me someone who isn’t busy. I’ve yet to run into someone who doesn’t describe themselves as busy. So, what does that really mean? What do you mean, when you say you’re too busy?

Does it mean you have too much to do, and not enough time to do it? Does it mean you’re busy in your brain, thinking about things but not getting anything done? Does it mean you’re pounding out work like a beast? Does it mean you’re over committed to things that don’t really matter to you? Or is it a combination of all the above?

What is the cost of being too busy? Because, whether you realize it or not, being too busy most definitely comes at a cost. That cost is usually you. I’ll explain more about the cost of busy in a few minutes. Because I think it’s important to know what we’re missing out on by being too busy. So, hang on for that.

I’ve been thinking about busy a lot in the last few weeks, and it’s become especially apparent and relevant in the transition to summer. So, I don’t know about you, but summer seems just as busy and scheduled as the school year, at least in our house anyway. The transition to summer means that every week is different.

So, my husband and I are still working, as I imagine many of you are. But we have to figure out something to do with our kids. So, our boys are going to all kinds of camps this summer. Going to outdoor camp and acting camp and farm camp. They’re trying a little bit of everything. But that takes quite a bit of scheduling, carpool arranging, and finagling, in order to get the kids where they need to be and be present for work.

For me, the hardest part is that while the kids’ schedule changes, mine doesn’t. Maybe you can relate. Work doesn’t change for me over the summer, even though my kids’ schedule changes. I don’t want my kids to be bored out of their minds and constantly asking to get on tablets and screens, so it meant we had to find something for them to do.

We made that choice, to sign them up for all these camps, and what it’s doing is adding up to a feeling of too much to do, not enough time, and feeling just a little bit scattered. Summer is just one example. Once the school year starts, it will be busy in a different way. I know from talking to many of you, I’m not alone in this.

Busy is just pervasive. So, what I want to do for you today is break down the types of “too busy.” In my experience coaching, I found that there are two distinct kinds of “too busy.” They’re very different, and they have some notable characteristics. So, stick with me on this and see which camp you fall into. If you’re in one of those “too busy” groups, let’s talk about how we can shake that up. All right? So, let’s go.

The first kind of “too busy” is the feeling of busy. Let me explain what I mean by this. I’m guessing, you can think of someone you know who is generally always busy. She is generally running ragged, and every time you ask her how she’s doing, her response is, “Busy, I’m so busy.” She may seem a little harried, and when you really dive in, she’s not getting anything done. She’s just radiating busy. She’s not infrequently talking about it. Or she may be catastrophizing about how there’s so much to do, she’s just too busy, and she wishes she could find a little time to go to the gym or take better care of herself. But there’s just no time. She’s just busy.

It never changes. It’s this kind of busy, that may lead you to believe there is just no time for anything else. So, as an example, when I have a client tell me she has no time to exercise because she’s too busy. But then, we get into the weeds of her schedule and look at how she’s spending her day. When I say this, I mean we look at where her time is actually going. Like, how many minutes commuting? How many hours at work? How many hours sleeping? How much on social media? I know I’ve told you before, but I’m a numbers person, and this is a prime example. I really like data.

When I do this, often I will find, that yes, while she works long hours and has a family to take care of, she spends a lot of time watching TV or messing around on her phone. Then, this keeps her from exercising in the evening, because she’s on her screens. Because she’s up late at night on her screens, she’s too tired to wake up in the morning to exercise before work.

This one comes up all the time. Despite the amount of time she spends on screens, she feels busy and radiates busy, but she may not have a lot to show for it. This is just one example. I have other clients who have a lot of responsibilities at home and at work, but instead of getting things done, they spend time thinking and preparing and wondering and worrying about being busy. It’s totally counterproductive.

So, here’s what I want to point out about this first type of “too busy.” This type of “too busy” comes from your mind. It’s the result of cluttering your brain with anxiety, uncertainty, and disorganization. When you’re in this space, it may feel very real and true to you that you’re just too busy, and there’s no way you can make time for exercise, or make your own food or eat at home or take care of yourself because there’s just too much to do.

You may have convinced yourself there’s no way you can shake up your schedule to make time for the things that really matter to you. Your brain is full, and there’s no room for anything else, because you’ve created the feeling of busy in your mind.

So, I think of this kind of busy as a palpable hum operating in the background. This feeling of busy gets you absolutely nowhere. In fact, it helps you procrastinate. It’s overthinking. It’s expending all kinds of mental energy thinking about the things you want to get done, and thinking about all the boxes to check off on your to-do list, clouded with overthinking the thought, “I am too busy.” Can you see that? It’s really easy to get stuck in the energy of feeling too busy, to the point that you let it overwhelm you, and then you spin without getting anything done. You’re spending your time feeling busy. Maybe this is true for you, like it is for so many of my clients. This busy feels very real. Your days go by fast, but there’s a decent amount of time wasted on things that don’t get you anywhere.

It’s that busy hum that ultimately does not produce the results you want. Meaning, instead of finishing the work that’s due at the end of the week, you spend an hour balancing your checkbook, giving you even less time later to get the actual work done. Or instead of opening up your computer to respond to that email that needs your attention, you overthink it and clean up your inbox. Which feels important and keeps you busy, but ultimately does not move you forward.

That’s just it. The key feature of this type of “too busy” is that you’re either taking no action, or you’re taking action that is not moving you forward towards your goal. You’re not taking purposeful action. Whichever way it manifests, it still feels too busy because of the brain drama behind it.

This kind of “too busy” is a feeling we create in our brain. Sometimes you create the feeling of busy in your mind with how you think about your life, and it keeps you from taking action. So, while you may feel super busy, and you tell yourself that you’re too busy, and you have too much to do, you generally don’t have much to show for it, other than a balanced checkbook maybe.

If you know anyone like this, you know what I’m talking about. Instead of organizing her time, getting really clear on a plan, and getting stuff done, she’s spending her days just being busy. Okay, so to be clear here, I’m not arguing that you or any of my clients aren’t busy, okay? In your core, you may believe that you absolutely have no time to get anything else done.

When you are stuck feeling busy, but not taking purposeful action to move you forward, it feels like you’re spinning your wheels and it feels very true and real. Even though it doesn’t feel good, it feels comfortable. The problem with this kind of busy, is that it keeps you miserably comfortable in your status quo.

It keeps you from making different decisions, creating a plan, or taking steps towards your goal. It’s that busy hum that stops you before you even get started. If you know people like this in your life, there’s a different type of energy around them. That energy is stressed. It’s strained. It’s rushed and disorganized.

Sometimes when you talk to them, if you let it, that energy will make you feel a little unsettled or frazzled, because they’re so scattered. But when you talk with them, they’re not moving forward. They’re not making progress. They’re still busy with the same stuff day after day, but nothing’s changing. It’s the feeling of busy without the action to back it up.

I get it. Sometimes we get so caught up in the rat race and the routine of everyday life, that it just feels busy. Your days may feel mechanized and fast; no time for anything else. When you create the feeling of busy in your mind, with your thoughts, and how you’re thinking about your days, it feels real. There’s just so much to do. It feels like there is no other way. “I am busy.” You report it like it’s fact, like it’s the news. But that’s not the case.

So, to summarize, the first type of busy is the feeling of busy without purposeful action to move you forward. It’s the busy vibration, or the hum of busy, that feels real and true in your mind, but gets you nowhere. Okay? Then, there’s the other kind of busy. This is the kind of busy where are you most definitely have a lot to do, but instead of thinking about being busy, you put your nose to the grind and get things done.

You are a high producer. You accomplish a lot. You check a lot of boxes. When you lay your head on your pillow at night, you’re tired. That fatigue isn’t the result of the busy you created in your brain, instead, it’s the fatigue that comes from getting a lot of stuff done. But in this type of “too busy,” you may not sleep a lot. You may believe that you can get by on six hours or less asleep. Which, by the way, it doesn’t matter who you are, you need more than six hours of sleep, okay?

But you are a doer. If someone asks you to take on a project, you do. If you’re asked to chair a committee, you’re on it. Plan your kids’ holiday parties? No problem. Take on an extra clinic or fill in for a coworker who’s away from the office? Done.

You take on a lot, and people ask you to do a lot, because they know they can depend on you and you will follow through. So, this type of “too busy” is fairly straightforward and easy to recognize. Because these people are constantly doing something. They generally don’t sit. When they have time off, they don’t know what to do so they find new projects or they clean stuff or they can tomatoes. Just kidding.

But you get the idea here. This type of “too busy” is the other end of the extreme. It’s taking a lot of action. It’s most definitely doing, there’s no question about that, but what happens is, sometimes people who are this type of busy do too much.

An easy way to know if this is you, is this: If anyone has ever told you, “You are a machine,” you know what kind of busy you are. You are someone who takes on a lot and delivers. So, while at first you might be thinking, “Hey, that’s a good kind of ‘too busy’ because I’m getting so much done,” hold up, because it comes at a cost.

You may be putting in the work and grinding, and you may have plenty of results to show for your busyness, in the form of a paycheck, prestige at work, corner office, kids excelling at five sports and speaking fluently in eight languages, and on and on, but it can wear on you. For those of you who are too busy getting things done, it may be that you’re so busy being a machine that there’s no time to think. You don’t have time to really get into or clear out your brain to make decisions about your life because you’re too busy finishing work, chairing a committee, coaching your kids soccer team, or leading your school’s PTA.

This is over actioning, or overdoing, without enough thinking. Do you ever feel like that? It’s literally like being a machine. Like, from the moment the alarm goes off to the minute your head hits the pillow, you’re on a speedway or an assembly line. If you’ve ever been there, or if you’re there now, you know what I’m talking about, and it feels icky. Or was that just me? So, for me, at the height of my burnout, I most definitely felt like a machine. It was like I was a body in a white coat.

I was present physically, getting the work done, seeing my patients, answering the pages and the phone calls, filling the prescriptions, and getting my kids to school and all their activities. I was still going to the gym and getting my workouts in. But it was more about checking all of the boxes. I was getting things done. On the outside, it might have looked like I had it all together. But inside I was a hot mess. I felt lost. But I also felt trapped and too tired to do anything differently. I most definitely shut down.

Looking back on it, that was it, that was how I coped. It was how I got through a number of years trying to balance working full time as a physician, being a parent, being a wife. I didn’t bother trying to be anything else. I didn’t bother trying to be my own person. Instead, I went numb. The first thing to go out the window was any sense of inner peace. But I figured, if I keep going and keep working, maybe I would stop feeling like machine, and maybe I would figure out a way to be less busy. Maybe I’d find a minute to clear my brain and put my life together, in a way that felt maybe just a little more intentional and less automatic.

That magical time never happened. Instead, I just got more busy. Because I was a machine and I worked so hard, I was given more responsibilities at work. Then, my kids got older and made friends and got into activities. Suddenly, the weeknights and weekends got even busier. That time when I felt less busy, it never happened. Too many of you are in that space, too. You get caught up in “the swirl.”

So, that’s the term I came up with; it’s a swirl. The swirl is the movement of your day. It’s generally fast paced, full, busy and scheduled. You’re getting all of the tasks of the day done and you’re getting by, but there’s not much time for anything else. It’s equal parts autopilot, rushed, and piecemeal.

Like a swirl, when you get into it, it just carries you. You keep going around and around, but you’re not driving the bus. You’re not really in charge; the day is. So, if you’ve been in the swirl, or if you’re currently in the swirl, you know that it feels like trap, and it stinks. The key thing to know about the swirl is that there’s not much time to get into your brain. There’s generally little time to think because you’re too busy doing. You’re locked in; the day is carrying you. I’ve often had clients describe it to me as a survival mode. You’re getting by, you’re surviving, but you’re not thriving, far from it.

If this is you, it’s rough. It’s waiting for something that’s not coming. That time that you will feel less busy is just not coming, unless you do something about it. Going numb and being a machine will only last you for so long.

The longer you wait to change it, and the longer you operate like a machine, the higher the cost to your work, your family, your friends, and especially you. There is most definitely a cost to this kind of “too busy,” whether you realize it or not. All right?

So, to summarize, the second type of “too busy” is lots of purposeful action, to the point of overreaction. There’s not a lot of deep thinking, because you’re so busy doing. It’s like being on autopilot, like a machine. It’s a fast track to burnout. Do you see the difference here? One type of “too busy” involves overthinking with little action. The other, involves little thinking with loads of action. So, people who overthink with no action often radiate busy, but don’t get as much done as they’d like. There’s a lot of energy behind the feeling of busy, but it’s a feeling you’ve created in your brain. It’s scattered, it’s uncontrolled, and unfocused.

You’re too busy thinking about being busy without having results to back it up. It feels like a lot of energy expended with very little to show for it. Okay? Then, on the flip side, people who overaction themselves without enough thinking, they’re grinding. You’re too busy taking action that you don’t have time to think. You have loads of results to show for your busyness, but you may feel like a machine.

So, you may even be a little of both. You may find that in certain situations, you’re an over thinker, and you overthink yourself into busy without getting anything done. Then, in other situations, you may overreaction yourself, and your brain turns off, and you don’t give yourself time to think. Neither one of these is healthy. There isn’t one version of “too busy,” that’s better than the other. Okay? Both of these scenarios can lead you to burnout.

Now that we’ve pared down the two main types of “too busy,” let’s talk about the dangers of busy. The problem with being too busy is that we let busy get in the way. We let busy become who we are. We let the busyness of the day run our lives instead of the other way around. We let either our schedules or our brains totally fill up, to the point that the day runs itself. We live at the effect of the day.

The result of this, is that you’re not really in control anymore, the day is, and you’re just going through the motions. The cost of this… Well, the cost of being constantly busy is a lot of things. First, you may lose your sense of purpose at your job.

So, for me, when I let being too busy become who I was, I felt like a cog in the wheel. I was at my clinic only to churn through patients. In medicine, patient visits are counted in units. The more units you bill, the better for your clinic or hospital. You’re encouraged to see as many patients as you can, as fast as you can, in order to bill more units.

For me, if I didn’t bill enough units, then I owed my clinic money at the end of the year. So, there was a constant pressure to move it. Maybe there’s an equivalent for you at your work. Maybe you’re under pressure to do more, faster, better, and using less resources. But operating under that pressure can be exhausting. It can turn you into an over actioner with very little time to think, because you feel you just need to keep doing. That was definitely my case. After doing that for years, I started to question why I went into medicine in the first place. I lost any sense of connection to my job. I was just a body there to see patients and make my clinic money.

The next cost of this, is how you show up to your family. Being too busy, especially at work, can take up enough of your time and energy that you may find you have nothing left for your family. For me, when I was around my kids, I was irritable, I was stressed, I was not fully present, I constantly worried that I was going to get paged or contacted for something, or my phone would buzz with an urgent lab or something. There was always the looming inbox.

I was constantly worried about how many tasks were building up and waiting for me when I logged in. It felt all consuming. So, even on days when I wasn’t working, I was still thinking about and getting anxious about work. I was not focused or present with my kids, and my time with them felt totally strained.

I don’t know if you see this, but the two things that I just described are the two types of “too busy.” On the one hand, I was over actioning at work. I was a machine churning through the daily grind and taking care of my patients, and all the things that came with it. Then, on the other hand, when I wasn’t at work, I spent way too much time overthinking and freaking out about what was coming, or what was waiting for me in my inbox. Do you see that? It’s often not one or the other, but both. Okay?

All right, next. The next cost of “too busy” is how you show up for your partner or other important people in your life. So, my husband is also a physician and he’s busy too. Between the two of us, it was a serious race to keep it all together just to get to the weekend. Between our careers and managing two kids, we didn’t really leave time for each other. But we kept things moving, like a mostly well-oiled machine.

You may feel like this, too. You may have the week on a color-coded schedule, on a whiteboard, on your fridge. You may have a solid system of divide and conquer going. You get things done. You get everyone everywhere they need to be, and the days and the nights move and they move fast. It works, and it makes the weeks go by smoothly, but you may end up with zero time left to connect with your partner. You may end up feeling like coexistent babysitters. And again, this is over actioning with little time for thinking here.

Then last, the highest cost of being “too busy” is your inner peace. I said it already, and I’ll say it again. The cost of constantly being “too busy” is your inner peace. I don’t know how else to describe it. I’ve mentioned it before, but for me, years of being too busy led me to the one coping mechanism I had at the time, and I went numb.

I know myself well enough now to recognize that my go to move is shut down. When I go numb, I turn off. There’s neither joy nor pain, it’s just moving. There is no time for feeling, there’s just action. If you’ve ever been numbed by being too busy, maybe you can relate. It feels just straight up empty. It feels hollow.

Or maybe you feel something different from numb. You may feel angry or anxious or depressed or sad. Or maybe you cycle through all of these. However you choose to describe it, so often what I see, is that after years of being too busy, where you’ve accepted that this is your status quo, you just don’t feel good.

They call it a grind for a reason, right? The grind generally doesn’t make you feel awesome. But it’s so easy to let this go on for far too long. It’s easy to resign that this is just the way it is, and you have no choice. Because now you’ve got a mortgage, a car, student loans, a house to take care of, kids to pay for, and all the other adult things that can make your life seem set and impossible to change.

So, you keep up with all of it, and you stay too busy, and nothing changes. If anything, you just get more busy. This can go on for years or decades. Too many of you are getting by, but that’s the danger of “too busy.”

Let me help you take some steps to change that. What can you do if you’re too busy? First, recognize that everything is a choice. You are a human, you have freewill, and everything you do, or don’t do, is a choice. I’ll be perfectly honest here and admit, I had a really hard time accepting this concept. When this was pointed out to me by my own coach, I was not keen on the idea that everything I had taken on was a choice.

I felt like, once I started work and had kids, that things were put upon me. But that wasn’t true. I chose to become a doctor, and as a result accepted massive student loan debt. I accepted that I was going to carry a pager. By delivering babies, I accepted that meant middle of the night pages and being up all night with laboring patients.

I chose to work full time, which meant I accepted the patient load and inbox that came with it. I chose to get married. I chose to have kids. Which meant I chose to take on the responsibility of contributing to something greater than myself. I chose to enroll my kids in various sports and activities. That meant I committed to getting them to practices and games and events, on evenings and weekends.

All of it is a choice. Every work project you take on, every committee you say yes to, every important relationship you choose, every school party you commit to, every sport, instrument, acting class, art class, whatever it is you sign your kid up for, it’s all a choice. You always have a choice, really.

Here’s where you’ve countered me on this, and I’m sharing it because I did the same thing when this was pointed out to me. You might think, “Well, if I say no to the work project, I won’t look as good in front of my boss. I won’t make as much money. If I don’t do this position at work, I won’t ever be able to advance in my career.”

“If I don’t volunteer at my kids’ school, it will look bad, and they’ll get shamed by the PTA or Homeschool Association. If I don’t sign my kids up for enough activities, they won’t have adequate experiences and won’t get into a good college. They’ll feel left out because all of their friends are doing tons of things,” and on and on and on. No, it’s a choice.

At the end of the day, you don’t have to do any of these things. These are all your choice. I know it may not feel like it. You may feel trapped by your circumstances, and that once you’re in the swirl, you have to keep going. You have to keep taking on more and more. You may feel like you have no choice. But you really do.

It comes down to competing desires. Once you realize you have a choice, then you have to decide what you truly want. So, if you take a step back and really think about it, that’s what it is. Often, when you get to a space of feeling too busy, it’s a result of a combination of choices that have resulted in a certain level of income, comfort, material possessions, and experiences, among other things.

When you get used to that, you may feel as though there’s no other way, and then you feel like you have no choice. You’re used to having the salary that you do, and it comes from working full time. You’re used to the house and the car you have.

You’re accustomed to certain vacations and clothing. You’re used to your kids playing three sports and two instruments, at a time. You get the idea. You’re used to a certain way of living. That’s the result of the combination of choices you’ve made. The cost of all of this is that while you have all these things, you may feel too busy to enjoy any of them. Or you may be in a space where you want all of these things, but the only way to have all of these things is to maintain this level of busy. That there is no other way.

Many of you have resigned to this, and you tell me that you feel stuck. But you don’t have to be stuck. You don’t have to be at a job that drains you, and count down your years to retirement. You don’t have to wait to be an empty nester to reconnect with your partner. There is a different way. But it’s not necessarily an easy way.

So, here’s what I want to offer you, really think about this for a minute. In order for your life to change, you have to change your life. It doesn’t make sense to keep grinding away, doing the same work, on the same schedule, with the same fast pace, and expect that something in your life will change. Okay?

In order to change your life, you have to do something different than what you’re currently doing. I know this is not wild or earth shattering, but some of you need to hear that. I know I did. Doing the same thing gets you the same results. Ultimately, you have to decide what all of this is worth to you.

Is the swirl that you find yourself in, is it worth it to you? Is it worth feeling like a cog in the wheel at your job for the big paycheck? Is it worth taking on another committee or project to add to your CV, when it means more time away from your family that you already don’t see enough? Is it worth having your kid play three sports at a time, while you drive them all over town and back? When there’s a slim, if not miniscule chance, he’ll go on to play college sports on a scholarship, and he doesn’t even like one of the sports he’s playing.

You have to decide what all of this is worth to you, because it all comes at a cost. You may be shaking your head at this and thinking, “She has no idea what I’m going through and what I have on my plate.” You may be shaking your head thinking there’s absolutely no alternative. You may be telling yourself that this is just the way it is, and this is how it’s going to be.

You may be telling yourself that this is the life you’ve created and you’re stuck. That’s exactly it. It’s your thoughts. It’s how you’re thinking about your life, and how you’re thinking about you’re too busy, that’s the problem. If you decide that there is no alternative, if you decide that this is what it is, if you decide that you’re stuck, what happens? You prove yourself right.

You keep over actioning and overthinking you’re busy, and nothing changes. What you believe, you will find evidence to prove correct. So, if you decide that you’re stuck with no alternative, that’s where you’ll stay. But if you decide to believe that there is a different way, and that it is possible to have a different, less busy, less frazzled life. If you decide to get out of the swirl, you will prove yourself right. You choose.

I’ve coached some of you through exactly this, and I know some of you have this going on. My point in raising all of this, is to show you that you have a choice, always. When you stay in a job that has a nice paycheck but sucks the life out of you, you made a choice.

When you’re driving your three kids all over and back, with zero relationship with your partner, because while your house runs like a well-oiled machine, you haven’t had a meaningful conversation in months, you’ve made a choice. Every committee activity, work project, every single thing you take on, it’s a choice.

But here’s the good news about all this. Just as you have created an overstretched, super busy, overcommitted life, you can uncreate it. If you have the power to build it, you have the power to tear it up. It starts by thinking differently.

So instead of thinking, “I am stuck,” you’ll need to practice thinking and believing something else. Something like, “I can change my life. It is possible to change my schedule. I can be less overcommitted.” It starts with your thoughts, always. There it is again.

When you choose to think about your busyness differently, you will start to feel empowered instead of stuck. You can make different choices, and start undoing the busyness you’ve created in your life. I’ll be the first to admit, these are not easy choices. In fact, there are, likely, some very difficult choices coming ahead if you’re really serious about changing your life.

You have to decide what the proper alignment of career, family, and your wellness is; with heavy emphasis on the wellness. Then, you’ll likely have to make difficult choices, that while difficult in the moment, will lead you to a better place, personally and professionally, later. I know, because I’ve been there. Leaving my career in medicine was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done. It took me nine long, painful years of being too busy to finally make that leap. While it was incredibly hard, and there were a lot of things I gave up by not practicing clinical medicine anymore, I have gained so much more than I thought possible.

I became less busy. I see my kids more. I see my husband more. I have a sense of purpose in my career now. These were all things I didn’t have for so long, because I thought that staying stuck and too busy was the only way. But it’s not. It’s not the only way.

If you feel stuck in this world, and you are so busy that you don’t know which way is up, and you don’t feel connected at work, or with your family or with your partner or with yourself, how long do you let that go? How long do you let it ride and stay stuck in the swirl? Most importantly, how long do you go numb, or be a machine?

You can change it. There is so much waiting for you on the other side of the discomfort that comes from changing your life. If you want change, and you want to be less busy, it is 100% possible. But it means being uncomfortable first. It means making hard decisions. It means feeling your feelings, and taking care of yourself when you put those hard decisions into action. But not everyone is willing to do that. Not everyone is willing to take action to uncreate their too busy lives. That’s why the term “miserably comfortable” exists. I don’t want miserably comfortable for you; you deserve better than that. But you have to go out and get it.

I’m guessing that if you’re listening to this podcast, you know what it’s like to work hard. You’re probably not afraid to do the work. So, now I’m simply asking you to do the work to uncreate your “busy.” Show yourself what you’re capable of, and take different action to change your life. If you need help with this, game on, let’s go. Changing your life is not easy. Undoing the busy in your life, not easy. But I can help you with this. When you coach with me, we talk about the things that make your life too busy. Then, you will make decisions and take action to create less busy and more purpose in your life, with me supporting you along the way.

There is no perfect time to do this. Don’t wait for the exact right time change your life. Let’s get started now. Check out my website. Go to www.CarrieHollandMD.com/contact and tell me what’s making you too busy, then let’s change it. Alright?

So, thank you for hanging out with me. I’ll catch you again next week.

If you like what you’ve been hearing, please review the show. I would love to get your feedback and ideas. Your suggestions have inspired episodes and will help me make the show better for you. Share this podcast with a friend, text a show link, share a screenshot, or post a link to the show on your social media. Be sure to tag me @CarrieHollandMD on either Instagram or Facebook, so I can follow along and engage with you.

This is how we get the word out to other working moms who want to feel strong, inside and out. If you know someone who wants to feel better or eat and move differently but she is too tired or too busy, it is time to change things up. And you know, making that change starts with how you think. And that is what we do here on the Strong as a Working Mom podcast. I’ll see you next week.

Thanks for listening to Strong as a Working Mom. If you want more information on how to eat, move, and think, so you can live in the body you want, with the mind to match, visit me at CarrieHollandMD.com.

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