Creating Space For Meaning In a Busy World

Let’s set the stage: You’re catching up with a friend you haven’t seen in a while. What’s one of the first things both of you probably say when filling one another in?

“I’ve been good! Just so busy.”

Busyness is worn as a badge of honor for many people. It shows that you have a full life with lots going on inside of it, which is a net positive thing on the surface.

However, there’s an aspect of franticness behind that statement, “I’m so busy”, that requires pause. Why are we encouraged to be busy? Why do we feel pride in saying that we are busy? Is it actually a positive thing to be running around doing this and that all of the time?

Our attention and our time are arguably our most valuable resources in a world that is constantly trying to captivate both. When we say we are busy, the implication here is that our time and our attention are all used up, sometimes to the extent that our inner selves feel depleted.

It can be easy to get swept up in the rat race. In a culture that thrives off of consumerism and busyness, it’s a sort of counter-cultural rebellion to take control of your time and create space for meaning.

Though the temptation to overschedule ourselves and always be available will persist, there are actionable ways we can combat these factors.

Here are the AllTakes team’s ideas for how to create space for meaning in a busy world:

  1. Schedule time for "unplugged" activities, like walking, reading, meditation, or creative hobbies. Nature is the best antidote. Get outside and touch some grass!

  2. Set boundaries around screen time and work hours. This one is tough (believe us, we know!). However, it’s essential that you give yourself parameters for working and non-working time so you can recharge.

  3. Identify the things that are truly important to you and prioritize them. One way to do this is to ask yourself some questions: What makes you feel most fulfilled? What brings you joy? What are your core values? What are your priorities in life, such as family, career, health, etc.? If you can identify the things that matter to you, you can make sure to prioritize them in your schedule and give them the time and attention they deserve.

  4. Make time for meaningful social interactions, both online and offline. Try scheduling specific times for online interactions and then focus on the people around you during other times. It's important to cultivate a sense of community with others both online and offline.

  5. Slow down! Ask yourself if you really need to be rushing or feeling a sense of urgency. If the answer is no, then slow down, breathe, and take your time.

Being intentional with your time, cultivating relationships, and pursuing the things that bring you joy and fulfillment is the real badge of honor; not busyness.

We hope these tips help you create more meaning in a busy world!


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