Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Does Your I Love to Be Busy Style Need a Makeover?
From the beginning, I've identified myself as an I need to see it/drop and run person. Walk into my workspace, and within fifteen seconds, both of these will be evident. In my world, any organizational system without a visual component is doomed by the double whammy of two styles that feed one another.

And while I encourage those taking my styles quiz to claim one predominant personal style and one predominant organizational style, many of us have traits of the other styles as well. For me, the style that lurks in the background, arguably creating the biggest problem of all, is the I love to be busy personal style.

I haven't talked much about the I love to be busy style, except to suggest keeping systems simple and subdivided. Like many I love to be busy people, I have different bags for different activities, allowing me to grab what I need and go where I'm going. Many of these bags have subsections so that things that go wherever I go (car keys, wallet, phone) can be dropped into their respective subsections -- usually the same one every time -- so I can find what I need when I need it. Keeping all of my necessary materials together in one place (and separate from those for other activities) is key to managing my busyness.

Early on in the process of naming these styles, I love to be busy was called I like to be busy; the name change came about as a way of keeping style names consistent. But you know what? I don't love to be busy. And, the older I get, the more question whether or not I even like to be busy. Sure, I love (word choice intentional) having a wide variety of interests and activities -- that much is true. But lately, I've been craving a break from the craziness -- a life with a little less busy and a little more balance.
Once upon a time, I did love to be busy, and I took great pride in keeping all the balls in the air as I juggled multiple activities. When I was single and first starting out professionally, busy meant the opposite of lonely -- something that I suspect will be true again when I'm retired for real -- but for many of us in the process of raising families, busy means tired. Overwhelmed. In need of balance.

If you truly love to be busy, more power to you. Keep the organizational systems for your activities simple and separate and ready to go at a moment's notice. Revel in your ability to juggle, spin plates and keep track of everything.

But if you, like me, are finding that your verb is changing, or maybe you even have a love-hate relationship with busyness, maybe it's time to consider re-organizing your time just as you would your stuff. Just as we take a look at our possessions and decide what to keep and what to get rid of, so should we take a look at our calendars and find ways to let go of the clutter. Maybe we should consider using the idea of one in/one out not just with purchases (getting rid of something old when you buy something new), but with activities as well. Or even putting dates with ourselves into our calendars so we're not left without time to take care of ourselves.
Organizing is a balancing act. With possessions, we balance stuff with space. With activities, we balance stuff with time. Our society seems to think that busier is better, but is it?

If too much stuff can tip the scales into disorganization, might it be true that too many activities can tip the scales into exhaustion?

How busy do you really want to be?

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