Why are we addicted to doing?
For many of us we don't know we're in overwhelm until that moment where something happens that forces us to stop and take note. So why is it we just keep adding to our to do lists? The truth is we're getting something from it.
Why would anyone just keep adding to their to do list?
Surely the satisfaction arrives when the list feels complete but for many of us the list just keeps growing.
As a recovering A type, I can tell you how easy it is to get caught up in the doing of life. That feeling of being on a journey that never seems like you're actually getting somewhere and all the frustration that accompanies you on it.
The truth is a lot of people are fooling themselves by being busy with things that don't really matter. In work we spend hours in meetings that have no clarity of focus, doing social media that has no clear strategy behind it, jumping to every email we receive and never really transforming anything. At home we distract ourselves in shopping, socialising and chores which never really give us a feeling of being complete.
What are we avoiding in those moments?
We're avoiding the empty space. We're avoiding diving deep into our purpose. We think that by being busy we're actually being purposeful but it's an illusion. We're stuffing our lives and are scared to declutter because we don't know what we'll find. So instead of pausing, we keep going. We don't allow ourselves to feel into our emotions and act as if the status quo is what we want. We trade going within and finding our own answers for being responsible for everyone else's life.
But the truth is we're human beings not human doings. We are here to be our authentic, most alive and expressed selves. It's uncomfortable to ask deep searching questions of ourselves, so instead we hopscotch through our lives, jumping from one task to the next, one job to the next and we create the same circumstances wherever we go because we can't escape ourselves.
If you fill your life with doing and have that feeling inside that you're not quite being your potential ....
Try this ...
1. Take your list and ask this question to each task, "When I complete this task, what will this give me?" If the result isn't significant or doesn't light you up question whether it really needs to be on the list.
2. Get comfortable with asking yourself two questions, "For the sake of what am I doing this?" and "What's really important about this?" The answers might surprise you :-)
You see we're creatures of habit and our lists will run us if we don't get above the small details and doing and get strategic and purposeful in our lives.