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Psychology Today describes social comparison theory as, "... determining our own social and personal self-worth based on how we stack up against others we perceive as somehow faring better or worse."
As a human being interacting with other human beings, we learn that how we show up in the world seems to matter.
If we have learned through our own social experiences that certain patterns of behavior, such as being extraordinarily busy and constantly on-the-go lead to being successful, connected and accepted by others, then we may find it appealing to engage in those behaviors.
Merriam-Webster defines the word productive as, "Yielding results, benefits or profits." Essentially, it means that we have something to show for our hard work.
Being busy has to do with an amount of time, where productivity has more to do with our use of time.
When we glorify busyness we are likely to overextend ourselves with varied obligations, appointments, commitments, and responsibilities.
We end up taking on too much and can easily become flooded with negative emotion and even feeling isolated from others.
Shuttling from one appointment to the next and having no time to spare in our schedule causes us to get creative in how we are feeding ourselves, moving our bodies, and resting.
We end up making poor choices in all of these areas because we either don't have time to make careful choices or our emotional reservoir is dry due to exhaustion and our impulsive decision making takes over.
Demanding, overextended schedules leave no time for meaningful connection. In our efforts to preserve relationships, we may send a quick text or attempt to make plans.
Over time, especially when attempts to get together are disrupted by last-minute changes, people can feel devalued and be less willing to compromise and forgive. Patterns of broken connection lead to people feeling distant and uninterested in maintaining connections.
Creating change in the area of busyness can offer us improved physical health, greater peace and joy, and better, more connected, relationships. Having time for others and ourselves can offer us that sense of safety, value, and connection we were once looking for by being so busy.
When we are excessively busy and glorify the idea of busyness, it is common to gain our sense of self-worth through tasks, performance, accolades, and recognition from others.
In exploring your core values you may find that spending time with family offers you a more meaningful sense of connection and value, and choose to set aside more time for that during the week or on the weekends.
Our narrative is what we tend to tell ourselves about who we are, our worth, our abilities, and our purpose, among other things.
Allow yourself the opportunity to challenge your old narrative that says you are not enough if you're doing all things all the time and update it with a healthier view of self, your worth and your purpose.
As you learn to say no to excessive projects, tasks, and appointments, you may fear how people respond to you, especially if they are not used to hearing no from you.
Remember why you are taking better control over your time and keep the big picture in mind. Managing time and ridding yourself of excessive busyness is likely about connecting with friends and family, taking care of your physical health, and living with more peace and joy.
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