Consider for a minute the idea that busyness for many of us busyaholics IS our coping mechanism.
Slowing down is hard, and I don't mean, emptying your schedule to make time for nothing (though I highly encourage that too), I mean for a lot of us, busyness lets us put our minds and energy towards creating or solving puzzles we feel more comfortable with. Oh they can be annoying, difficult and time sucking, absolutely, but the act of putting our energy towards solving them does serve to put our attention elsewhere.
Often, what is needing our attention, is not the thing that's keeping us too busy, it's an aspect of our life we're not willing to take on yet.
A friend of mine worked in corporate America for 20 years. She shared with me how she used business to avoid being with questions in her life that she just didn't have the answer for. At least, she said, with work, things might get frustrating but she knew how to handle them. And that busyness let her "forget" about the fact that deep down she wasn't really happy. Eventually, as life tends to do, events occurred that made hiding in her busyness more painful than turning and looking at what she was really questioning. But busyness was a good distraction until she was ready.
First and foremost, BE KIND to yourself on your journey.
Turning towards, and being with, the questions in our life and being willing to be who we are, it's difficult sometimes. If it were easy we wouldn't need the many types of buffers we can reach out to; food, alcohol, work, the gym, or busyness.
As we try to solve our busy lives, often we are looking in the wrong direction.
We're looking externally at our schedule, rather than internally at why we continue to create this level of busyness in our life. So we focus on addressing the "issue of our schedule" which in many cases is a symptom, not a cause. And, not surprisingly, figuring out our "schedule" proves to be difficult and doesn't solve your busyness.
Start where you are. There is no wrong step.
Life is generous. Really. In that any situation we find ourselves in we can use as a vehicle for our learning. For my clients thinking it is their obligations and schedule that is the problem, we start there. And, really, we can start anywhere. Often the awareness of busyness being buffering is a huge step forward. Once you have that awareness, you can begin to be curious about your "whys."
This is where learning how to manage our mind is such a valuable skill. Being aware of what we're thinking and feeling with a morning Thought Download, and using a process like The Model to help you understand what you're thinking, feeling, doing and creating. It's a process that takes less than 10 minutes sometimes, and the payoff is so much bigger than that.
If your busyness is tiring you out, start by answering the question "Why am I choosing busyness?" Then run one of the thoughts that comes out of that, through a model. It's a journey to better manage our schedule and the thinking that is between us and a more reasonable schedule. I promise the time you put into looking at your thoughts will be illuminating, helpful and so worth it.