Doing “More” – Is It Healthy To Feel Like You Aren’t Doing Enough?

As I type this, I am sitting in a coffee shop enjoying some organic coffee and a home made pastry. Since I work from home for myself, I try to make a point of coming here a few times a week to escape the house and to talk to other humans (The cat gets tired of my witty banter). While I am sitting here working, I keep getting distracted by the customers that come and go in such a hurry – where are they going? Why are they late? What’s the rush? One has to wonder what each person is doing today, but I know what they are feeling – that was me not so long ago.

Sure, I left the rat race about 2.5 years ago to strike out on my own. I have not worked “for the man” since then, and to be honest it would be hard to go back to doing so. I get up when I want, I make my own work hours, and I take time off when I feel that I need it. Most afternoons you would find me hiking out in the woods or by the gorge; it’s one big advantage to working for myself that I have the time to do so. But throughout most of this time, I have always felt that I should be doing “more” with my time. Even when I was out hiking or whatever, I felt as though I was wasting time and that I should be spending my time on more important things. What they were I could not even begin to tell you. But something in my mind kept nagging me to do “more” with my time…even when I could not come up with something to do. It was like a tape being played 24/7 – “you are wasting your time!” or “shouldn’t you be doing something constructive?” or “is this really how you want to be spending your free time?”. This was a constant battle with myself and one that I am only just recently learning to counteract and fight back against.

After talking to a therapist about these things, I realized that I was, in fact, wasting my time thinking about wasting my time. Makes sense, right? Whatever I was doing at that moment was life itself…only focusing on what I would do next or what I should be doing instead left me feeling rather empty and depressed all the time. I never really knew why I felt that way, but it was because I was constantly letting myself down by not living in the moment. I would go siteseeing and be in a hurry to see the next site. I would go to watch the sunset and last about 2.5 minutes before I was bored and wondering what to do next. The list went on and one…I was always thinking I was not doing enough. This madness had to stop.

And it has…slowly. I am learning to meditate. I am learning to just “be” more often, as I mentioned in my post “A Cup Of Coffee And A Window“. I am doing breathing exercises. When I go for a walk, I listen to my feet crunch in the snow or the birds flying overhead. This is a big, huge, giant change for me. Instead of rushing through my walk, rushing through some woodworking project to get finished, or skimming a book to get to the end, I am starting to enjoy the slowness of my every day life. (This post itself is taking a long time, as I keep taking breaks to look out the window of the coffee shop) I have a long way to go, because I still do feel that old “hurry up and get stuff done” mentality creeping up, but I fight the urge now instead of just giving in like I usually would. I am more conscientious of my body, my mind, my actions, and my words. I am finding that it’s just not necessary to feel like I am not doing enough…I am doing what I need to do right now. And that alone has changed my life for the better. It’s amazing what you see when you take the time to slow down.

  1. February 22, 2009
  2. February 22, 2009
  3. February 23, 2009
  4. February 23, 2009
  5. March 2, 2009
  6. December 3, 2009
  7. June 13, 2010
  8. July 11, 2010
  9. April 5, 2011
  10. February 19, 2012
  11. February 8, 2013
  12. October 25, 2014
  13. March 9, 2015
  14. April 21, 2015
  15. June 12, 2015
  16. August 28, 2015
  17. September 6, 2015
  18. December 16, 2015

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