How many times have you heard this answer in response to “How are you?” How many times have you uttered these words yourself in response to the same question?
For some people, the answer “crazy busy” may indicate a life filled with positive activities that are meaningful and important to them and their values. These people are “in the zone,” focused on a prioritized set of activities that might take up many hours of their day but leave them feeling energized and fulfilled.
For far too many others, “crazy busy” is a cry for help, indicating a life overtaken by an endless stream of commitments, responsibilities, and even chaos that leaves them feeling overwhelmed and depleted of energy. At the end of the day, they are often exhausted and stressed about how they will ever get through their endless “To Do” list.
When coaching clients complaining about their “crazy busy” lives, many times it is not about too much to do; rather, it’s about not doing what is most important to their core values. Coaching clients to become aware of what is most important to them based on their individual essence helps focus them on WHAT is important and WHY it is important. From there, the WHERE, WHEN, and HOW often fall naturally (and quickly!) into place.
I often like to start clients in this scenario with the well-known WHEEL OF LIFE exercise (also known as the BALANCE WHEEL or FULFILLMENT WHEEL). By assessing their satisfaction among the key facets of their life, clients have a powerful visual for determining where their satisfaction, and time, is out of balance. Seeing their life as it is today helps clarify the goals for coaching, and the resulting changes they are seeking to make.
With effective coaching, we can partner with clients to be ‘crazy busy’ doing what they want to do, rather going crazy being busy doing things that are not life enhancing.
When life is “crazy busy,” reflect on how fulfilled you are with how you spend your time. Start by reflecting on your general satisfaction with the important areas of your life (e.g. relationships, family, self, spiritual, physical, work, etc.) In those areas where there is low satisfaction, assess how your time is currently spent and where you would like it to be spent to feel in balance. This can start the process of re-aligning your time to better reflect what brings you satisfaction and fulfillment.