The Real Reason Why You’re Too Damn Busy For Your Passions

too busy
 

I’m on record saying that it isn’t true we don’t have enough time for our passions (on the front page of this website, for one thing), and I stand by this statement. The reason why the headline of this article seems to contradict this, is that we fill our lives with too many things.
 

Simply put, we would have all the time in the world, if we weren’t so determined to fill every minute of every day with activity. It’s not our “fault”, either: We simply live in a world which seems to demand of us to be all things to everyone. And because that’s all we know, we assume it’s always been this way.
 

What if I told you that this is a relatively new phenomenon historically, and that it’s possible even today, to return to a saner life rhythm?
 
 

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How work used to be divided

 

Of course the situation varied from one country to another, but where I’m from – central Western Europe – up to about 100 years ago there were certain societal structures in place. For one thing, there was a strict separation by class.
 

If you were a man and part of the aristocracy, you may have had a job, perhaps as a lawyer or a businessman. Women looked after the household, but not by picking up a brush: They were responsible for directing the servants, overseeing the work, and putting together menues.
 

Both men and women of the upper classes pursued what we would call passions today, things like playing an instrument, painting, or crafting. In contrast, the lower classes did all the hard work in the house and garden and also brought up the gentry’s children. Of course, they also had to look after their own children and household, which means they were too busy to pursue an art or craft or any other passion. There are a few exceptions, but most of the famous composers, painters, and writers we still know today, came from the wealthier classes.
 

housework
 

We’re both masters and servants

 

It was a terribly unjust system and it’s a great accomplishment that we’ve achieved a much fairer and more equal society (although there’s much work left to be done). What we’re overlooking is that these days, we expect of ourselves – and society expects of us – that we do the work of both the historical upper and lower classes.
 

Most people nowadays have a job which takes up a significant amount of hours every weekday. Then at home, they look after their children and do all the house- and garden work all on their own. In addition, they must keep in good physical shape and have a busy social life, whilst also pursuing any number of passions. We believe this is “normal”.
 

Meanwhile, a philosophy has taken hold since around the time of the Industrial Revolution, that teaches us to stay as busy as possible. We accept that working hard is a virtue and something everyone should aspire to. At the same time, while we’re encouraged to pursue our passions, it’s not socially acceptable to prioritise this or, God forbid, place more importance on it than on the aforementioned hard work.
 
 

We’re too busy because we’re exploiting ourselves

 

Before I catch too much flak for stating the above thoughts, please be assured that I’m aware I’m using very broad strokes to paint this picture here, and that in reality there was a lot more nuance to it. However, my main points stand. We have absorbed and accepted beyond questioning the fact that the way we live today is the way it’s supposed to be. We’re so used to being too busy that we look at everything even slightly divergent with mistrust or open ridicule.
 

In other words, we have fought for our freedoms politically and won so much – democracy, participation, equality (again, there’s a lot of work left to do, but compared to only a few hundred years ago, we’ve come a long way indeed) – only to enslave ourselves with our internalised expectations. We demand of ourselves to do the work that was historically done by the lower classes, as well as that which used to be reserved for the upper class, plus their pastimes and passions. And we expect to handle all this easily and be happy.
 

What we’ve created instead, is lives of constant exhaustion and a permanent vague feeling of not being enough. We’re simply too busy. Our self-esteem is so low that anyone who gets more done than we do in even one area of life, instantly makes us feel miserable and like a failure, and we look at them with envy and a disdain born from fear.
 

too busy
 

The inner revolution

 

Another thing we tend to look down upon is the need to fit in with our peers. We regard it as a weakness, when really it’s a deep human instinct and roots in our need to survive. For most of history, we have been dependent on the “herd”. These days, this dependence is mostly emotional, in that we need social contacts, but it still plays a huge part in our psychological and even physical health, so don’t discard it.
 

At the same time, it’s no longer fatal to disagree with the majority. In view of the circumstances I described above, I’d argue that in order to live a happy, fulfilled life, you almost have to.
 

I’ve made so many videos and posts about these things! The reasons why I keep repeating it is that swimming against the current of society remains difficult, no matter how long you’ve been doing it for. You need to protect your energy and sanity, and choose joy and passion over and over. That’s why I offer this content for free every week.
 
 

No longer too busy for your passions

 

You don’t have to do it all by yourself. For example, you don’t have to do all the house work on your own. I’m single and childless and I have a cleaner. Could I do the work myself? Heck, yes! Do I want to? No! I prefer to preserve my time and energy so I can show up for my clients as the best possible version of myself. This requires rest and downtime, just the way any professional has done it at all times historically before circa the early 20th century.
 

Let yourself off the hook and breathe the free air of having time and space for the things that matter. Time for yourself, your loved ones, and your passion(s). It’s nothing short of a revolution, and it’s why I chose to dedicate my life to supporting people who wish to do this. Get in touch if you’re ready for the transformation.

How To Handle The Flood Of Knowledge


 

Abstract:
 

I recently read about „knowledge management”, which is becoming increasingly important in organisations and companies. They have lots of information, but how can they make it accessible to the people who need it at the right time?
 

It got me thinking: The same issue applies on the individual level. We can find out and learn almost everything online these days, but how do we handle it all?
 

Your mission today is to learn how do we manage the flood of knowledge and utilise it for your passion.
 
 

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Task 1: All-rounder or specialist?

 

The question is now, should you niche down and specialise or attempt a good general knowledge? The answer is as individual as each of us.
 

A multi-passionate will probably have knowledge of several areas, but maybe none of them as in-depth as someone who specialises on just one thing. Both these types of people have a place in society; both are needed. Find out what suits you and don’t try to force anything.
 

flood of knowledge

Photo by Meelika Marzzarella on unsplash.com


 

Task 2: Handle the flood of knowledge

 

Keeping an open mind to knowledge from different areas never hurts, but if you want to niche down, then obviously focus on that one subject which lights you up. But how to keep track of all the information?
 

Especially when it comes to our passions, it can be awful to lose a bit of valuable information because we either didn’t keep it or don’t know where it is. It’s useful to develop a sort of system for this. Ideas include:

  • Keep a notebook where you can jot down ideas.
  • On a certain date once a month, sort those notes into documents on your computer.
  • Keep a calendar. You’ll remember things better if your brain isn’t cluttered with trying to remember when you need to go to the dentist!

Now you have the information at your fingertips, determine which one thing (or two) you’ll focus on for the coming month. A month later, re-assess.

No Time For Your Passion(s)?


(I updated the video because the old one was blurry. Enjoy!)
 

Abstract:
 

“I just don’t have the time!” Hands up who’s said that? It’s the No. 1 reason I hear from people when we talk about why they don’t pursue their passion(s) more. Heck, I’ve said it myself more often than I care to admit.
 

There are countless gurus advising on how to maximise your time and productivity. But most of us are exhausted already and unwilling to stuff even more into our days.
 

Your mission today is to learn how to slow down and magically have time for everything.
 
 

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Task 1: Learn about the nature of time

 

Time can be measured and divided into hours, minutes, seconds. It seems straightforward and logical, yet we’ve all experienced periods where time seemed to speed up or slow down and drag. In truth, time is very, very relative.
 

Does time really fly when you’re having fun? I’d say, when you’re truly joyful and do what lights you up, the hours might fly but altogether, time expands and disappears. We’ve all been busy and then fallen in love, and suddenly we found all these pockets of time for our beloved – true or true?
 
 

Task 2: Get rid of Quadrant IV

 

I’ve mentioned Stephen Covey and his Quadrants before: I is important and urgent, II is important but not urgent, III is urgent but unimportant, IV is neither urgent and important. In other words, we can do without IV – it’s quite literally a waste of time.
 

What’s in Quadrant IV? Mostly time spent online. Emails, social media, gossip pages… If you don’t believe how much time you spend there, download an app that measures your usage time. I have never met a person who didn’t underestimate how much time they spend there. Imagine having these hours – hours! – as time for your passion.
 

time for your passion

Photo by Ann Street (Social Cut) on unsplash.com


 

Task 3: Time for your passion(s)

 

The dominance of everything online is so heavy, I’m planning a course for a social media detox. Watch this space. In the meantime, you can take the following first-aid measures:

  • Close your browser when you work. Yes, really.
  • Turn off all notifications on your phone. Social media, messages etc.
  • Check your emails, social media and messages 2-3 times a day.
  • In your bedroom, your phone/tablet etc. is on airplane mode. No exceptions.

It’ll be awful at first, but after a week or so, you’ll feel that you’ve got your life back! Try it and let me know how it goes.

3 Ways To Use The (Super)Power Of Softness


 

Abstract:
 

Superheroes, school of hard knocks, overcoming obstacles like a boss, those are the ideals that surround us. And it’s sure admirable how humans can succeed in the face of adversity.
 

However, not all of us are inclined to tough it out. Some have fears or anxiety for any number of reasons: health issues, traumatic experiences, personality. Are we doomed to mediocrity, then?
 

Far from it. Your mission today is to learn 3 ways of using the power of softness and joy.
 
 

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Task 1: Learn the power of softness

 

We’re so brainwashed by the tough-hero ideal, we feel inferior for our reluctance to headbutt with life’s challenges. Therefore, you need to counter-brainwash yourself first.
 

Have you ever seen ivy grow through a wall? Which one do you think is tougher?
 

Water can hollow out a rock by steadily dripping on it. That takes a long time, though – but water also has the capability of flowing around the rock.
 

Softness is more flexible and finds solutions where toughness keeps knocking its head against the wall.
 

power of softness

Photo by Kaboompics on pixabay.com


 

Task 2: Ways to use your superpower

 

Here are a few ways to make use of the astonishing power of softness.
 

  • Listen to yourself. If there’s somehing you absolutely don’t want to do, perhaps delegate it, pay someone to do it for you, get help. You could also consider doing it yourself, but in a different way.
  • Is there something want to do but never seem to get around to? It won’t happen unless you plan for it. When’s the last time you magically “had time” all of a sudden? You never did and never will, so determine a day and time and schedule that sh*t.
  • Discover the magic of 15 minutes. You can do anything for 15 minutes! Of course you won’t finish the task, but you can make a start. Try 15 minutes of exercise, or of pursuing your passion. Set your alarm and try it. You’ll be floored by the impact.

How To Get Shit Done


 

Abstract:
 

Before I say anything else: From today’s title, you may have noticed that I do use adult language occasionally! Just a fair warning in case that’s not your thing.
 

A lot of my Coaching clients feel they should be doing more and that they fall short somehow. It seems to be an almost universal feeling. In some cases, trying too hard to get shit done even leads to complete inertia.
 
 

 
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Getting real

 

Most people have completely unrealistic expectations of themselves. They think if they don’t “function” perfectly and are productive every minute of every day, then they’re doing it wrong.
 

As a first step, realise that you’re not a machine, and neither are you supposed to be. It’s simply not how humans work! Stop measuring yourself against others and putting pressure on yourself.
 
 

Separating the wheat from the chaff

 

The second step is to take a good look at your life and clean it out the way you’d sort out your closet when you want to give some clothes to charity. Just like decluttering the closet, it can be hard to let go of some things. When you’ve done it, however, you feel a profound relief and clarity.
 

Focus on getting done what really matters to you: Yourself, your family and friends, your passions, and the necessities of life. Everything else gets cleared out.
 

get shit done

Photo by Haley Powers on unsplash.com

Accepting your human nature

 

Step three is to accept that you’re human and to play to your strengths. Some people are “seasonal workers” while others are particularly productive at a certain time of the day. Do what works for you, and don’t forget to work in breaks and self care as well.
 

Once you’ve accomplished these three steps, you’ll feel yourself settling into your own personal rhythm. Ironically, when you stop stressing about it, you’ll not only feel happier but you’ll also “get shit done”.