By Bob Lancer

While one of the benefits of technology was supposed to have been more leisure time, it appears that we are spending more time struggling to make the money to take advantage of the latest breakthroughs in technology! Families may be busier than ever for more reasons than that. A contributor most certainly has to do with the fact that we cannot safely just let our kids go out to play on their own in many, many neighborhoods. They need to be in enclosed spaces with professional, licensed supervision. This requires packing and unpacking the car and being a family on the go more than ever.

When families become too busy, though, they run the risk of becoming quite dizzy.  There are limits to how busy we can be and still function effectively in line with our true priorities.  Too much busy-ness creates a sort of mental fog, resulting in hasty judgments based on superficial observation and poor reasoning. In other words, your family may be so busy that you as the parent are not clear about what your family is doing, why your family is doing it, and if it is worth the time, effort and strain of doing it.

We need to stop being busy long enough to recharge our vitality and our spirit, to relax enough to nurture our emotional balance.  Being too much on the go promotes intolerance, impatience and thoughtless “knee-jerk” emotional reactions that drive us to hurt those we love.  You need to ask yourself if getting one more thing done is worth another war in your household.

You either entrust your family’s well-being to your calm clarity or to blind chaos and confusion.  To tell if you are too busy, look for the following 5 signs:

  1. Much expressions of irritation, annoyance, impatience, discouragement, overwhelm or fatigue
  2. Exhibitions of much harsh, sharply critical, cutting speech
  3. Relationship breakdowns within the family
  4. Emotional meltdowns by one or more family members
  5. Physical injuries and costly mistakes due to rushing

If you see any of this going on, stop trying so hard to control your children, your mate, or your life. Instead, let go. Instead of pushing yourself or anyone else to get to the next thing, give yourself some quiet time to consider what needs not doing. Take some quality time with your family – time when you are doing very little but enjoying and appreciating the blessing of just having one another in your lives.

Reducing the amount of busy-ness in your family to just the right amount requires that you stop to take time to consider exactly what you are doing and what the costs and benefits of each activity really amount to. This will give you the perspective you need to make healthy and practical changes in line with your true priorities.  For instance, you just might find that getting your son to T-ball, which he really does not like anyway, is placing so much of strain on you both that you are not getting along and his asthma and your migraines are returning.

When you begin to work on getting control of your degree of busy-ness, you may very likely confront your addiction to staying too busy as a means of escaping rather than facing your problems.  At that point, be honest with yourself. Self-honesty is the first step out of destructive addiction.