Lately, I have been thinking a great deal about busy work. It seems our lives are filled with it these days. You might even say we are consumed by it.
What do I mean by busy work? Let me start by what it is NOT. Busy work is not the repetitive things we do in life that are necessary or make our life better. For example, cleaning our home is not busy work because it is beneficial to our health to have a clean living space, not to mention the mental benefits of living in a comfortable, organized home.
Rather, busy work is comprised of the many thoughtless, meaningless activities that fill our lives and do not make our lives, or anyone else’s, better. This would include mounds of paperwork that are sometimes required in our jobs (some of that is just ridiculous), the endless meetings our bosses require us to attend, moving piles of “stuff” around our house because we can’t make the decision to part with them, or the countless hours spent on social media. (Yes, I count count social media as busy work because we are using up valuable hours of our lives that we will never get back again.)
I realize that we sometimes have little or no control over the demands of our jobs, but we can definitely exert more power over our personal lives. And, actually, we control our working environment more than we think. Maybe you could make some suggests for streamlining tasks or other improvements (you are probably not the only one who hates all the paperwork and meetings). Or maybe it is time to pursue a different job or start your own business.
It is beneficial to loosely plan your schedule for the day, then examine it to see if you are using your time wisely. If not, find ways to cut out the meaningless activities that offer your life no added value. When doing this, be sure to think about ways to simplify tasks in the future in order to spend more quality time with family and friends.
My sister in law has undergone a metamorphosis that has allowed her to downsize her life in many ways. Her house is smaller than some apartments I have lived in. She made the decision to downsize to this degree because she wanted to spend more time with her children and grandchildren instead of cleaning, organizing, and maintaining her home. Incidentally, her smaller home also came with a smaller lawn, which she now pays someone else to maintain. She simplified her life, and she also gave a nice young man some paying work. It’s a win/win situation.
I, too, have been working on the journey to freedom from busy work. It can be easier said than done in practical daily life, but here are a few things I have done around my home that simplified things tremendously.
- I bought this jewelry organizer that is so large it holds everything I own and also doubles as a pretty, full length mirror.
- I added this jewelry organizer to my dresser for the things I wear most days so I never need to hunt for them.
- I got some shoe organizers to get all of my shoes up off the floor of my closet. Amazon no longer carries the ones I bought, but this shoe organizer looks good according to the reviews.
- We installed wall to wall wire shelving in our pantry. This allowed for lots of light to filter through the shelves and also cut way down on how dusty the shelves could get.
- We bought these bamboo trays and now use them in three of our kitchen drawers so we have stopped having to rummage for everything we needed.
- We bought two magnetic knife strips from Harbor Freight (much cheaper than most on Amazon and designed for heavier objects). We installed one in our kitchen and also one over the range in our camper.
- Last Christmas I ordered these organizing hooks for my car and put them in my own stocking. I use them for countless things including my purse. Just love them!
We are still working on ways to organize and simplify our home and our lives. I have found that as our children get older it gets much easier, but I believe it is a process that’s never really completed. Luckily, I really enjoy streamlining and organizing, so this is not a problem for me.
Remember that you are the captain of your ship and life is a journey that we only take once. Don’t allow the precious minutes of your life to be spent on meaningless tasks and busy work. Live your life intentionally instead of blindly being lead around by circumstances.
Do Something Today That Your Future Self Will Thank You For