"Take rest; a field that has rested gives a bountiful crop.”—Ovid
I love it when a successful, self-described workaholic admits the error of her ways!
Arianna Huffington comes clean in her new book: Thrive.
“I wish I could go back,” she writes, “and tell myself, ‘Arianna, your performance will actually improve if you can commit to not only working hard, but also unplugging, recharging and renewing yourself.’ That would have saved me a lot of unnecessary stress, burnout and exhaustion.”
It’s a life-saving message we all need to hear: Constant busyness can be hazardous to our health and well being!
I call it ATBS–Addicted to Busyness Syndrome. And it’s epidemic among women. We stuff every cranny of our lives with so much activity that we’ve lost touch with what’s truly essential and what’s really irrelevant. Busyness has become our drug of choice.
Like any drug, busyness is not only a downer. It’s a dangerous form of self deception. We fool ourselves into feeling productive, when we’re actually undermining our success, yet ask us to lighten our load, actually say no to a task, and we start to panic as if our world would shatter if we slowed down.
I didn’t realize I suffered from ATBS, until a few years ago, when a crisis—my longtime business partner and I suddenly split--forced me to slow down, to surrender, to reflect and regroup. What I thought would be a brief downtime due to burnout became a life-changing detox from busyness.
I’m the first to admit: Busyness is a bitch to give up! Without endless activity, we’re left with empty space. And empty space gives rise to painful feelings. (For me, I felt antsy, unproductive, like a failure and a fraud) Rather than experience the pain, we fill up the spaces.
But, as I've learned from my Busyness Detox, when you face what you fear, you find it no longer controls you. When you eliminate the unnecessary, you discover what really matters. And though detoxing from frenetic activity is never easy or comfortable, it's freeing beyond anything I expected.