If you’re anything like me, you might feel inundated with what C. S. Lewis called “the tyranny of the urgent” — the power that busyness holds over you. In the West, we live in cultures that glorifies busyness. When someone asks how we are, “busy” is an appropriate answer and usually met with a commiserating, “Me, too.” We’re supposed to be living a good life if we’re busy. We’re busy with work, running our children to their activities, and then we add in church activities and it suddenly feels like your schedule is running you, not you running your schedule. All of sudden we don’t have time for the things that bring us joy — let alone allowing for free space in which to dream, plan, and be open to opportunities God sets in our paths on a daily basis.
A hectic schedule isn’t just about too much on the calendar. When we feel too busy and ruled by our schedule, we’re often using our time as a cover-up for what’s in our hearts. It’s easier to stay busy sometimes than dealing with our underlying fears, failures, emotions, and worries. No calendar overhaul will change our hearts. But we often find that as we make concrete changes our hearts, too, change.
So how do we get our lives back from a hectic schedule? How do we break free from busyness to live lives that are peaceful, reflective of our goals and our faith, and work towards the health of our families, our neighbors, and the world around us?
Here are a few ways to start: