Sassy Moment # 12 Busy Badges

Good morning ladies, grab a cup of coffee, pull up a chair and listen in, this is the Sassy Moments Podcast, Moment #12 – BUSY BADGES. 

I absolutely believe that no matter where you are in your career or family life, you must make yourself a priority.  As is stated so obviously by commercial airlines, put on your oxygen mask first, then assist others.  As outlined in Moment # 1 A bit about me, I learned that the hard way.  Doctor heal thyself is one of the most ridiculous statements in the English vocabulary.  No time for that can’t you see, I’m busy.

Busy badges.  Have you earned one?  

Early in my coaching practice I briefly coached one woman who could account for every single minute of her day from 5am – 12am.  Her hope for coaching – was to get more sleep.  When asked how much more she would like to get she identified 60 minutes.  Which from a health perspective may be an improvement, but her tally was still chronic sleep deprivation.  Six or less hours of sleep nightly is medically defined as sleep deprivation and as bad for your brain’s daily function as a blood alcohol level above the legal drinking limit.   Yep, 6 or less hours of sleep leaves your brain legally impaired.  Not a great place from which to approach your day.  Even worse, with only 3 days of 6 or less hours of sleep, you have the metabolic profile of an individual with diabetes.  Not good.  

I tried to get her to look at how she spent her time and consider her priorities and to consider what she might eliminate to carve out some space for additional sleep.   I asked if she would consider keeping a time diary to identify her time bandits – the activities we conveniently forget and can rob us of precious minutes in a fully packed day.  She was having none of it – she believed she could account for everything.  She was unwilling to eliminate anything – not even 15 minutes, let alone a full hour.  Everything was a priority.  Everything was important.   

I suggested she read the book Essentialism by Greg McKeown and not surprisingly,  she was not giving up 15 minutes of her 5 hours of sleep for reading.  Even listening to an audio book was out of the question.  She had to focus on her daily activities.  In her mind she had already eliminated the unessential.  I would have refunded her money if she weren’t one of my first few ‘free’ coaching clients.  She didn’t want to change – and probably didn’t.   

I know one family doctor who no longer tries to convince his patients to change when they are so adamantly opposed to his recommendations.  His approach?  You can find time to adopt a healthier lifestyle now or after your heart attack.  You will have time then, if you survive.  The choice is yours. 

Sometimes the change that is required is hard.  Sometimes it’s made for you.  I believe it’s always preferable to make a change by choice, rather than because your health tanked.  But then I am a longevity life coach who recovered from unrecognized burnout and tanked health.  

I survived my ‘wake up call.’  Not everyone does.  

 It doesn’t help that our society glorifies busyness and burnout.  Nope.  My decision to leave medicine was met with disbelief if not dismay.  Many professionals proudly display their ‘busy’ badges.  I am most familiar with medicine busy badges though I have no doubt the profession doesn’t matter.  Busy badges are a mindset thing.  

I once enrolled in a mindset training program and the instructor lived his life with his busy badge as his most prized possession.  He didn’t read books – he listened to them at 3 times speed, during what he defined as his transition times.  He found 7 – 9 hours a week doing this. Walking to the bathroom.  During his daily commute from the kitchen to his in home office.  While working out.   While driving.  Have you ever tried to listen to a podcast at twice speed?  Can you imagine three times speed?  Heaven forbid that you sit down with a good read, let the ideas seep into the crevices of your mind and contemplate how they might apply to you, so that you improve your current circumstances.  Or just read, cause you enjoy reading.  Personally I would find listening to an audiobook at three times speed in 1 – 3 minute intervals unacceptably tortuous.  

His original mindset was this: though he may not be the smartest guy in the room, he would be the hardest working.  No one would out work him, and he was extremely successful.  His favourite book recommendations – Relentless by Timothy Grover and Can’t Hurt Me by David Goggins.  I did sift my way through Relentless but I opted out of Can’t Hurt Me.  The idea that one must run ultramarathons on fractured foot bones or suffer through Navy Seal Training Hell week three consecutive times, borders on insanity.  

Fortunately it was a work at your own pace program and I was able to work through the program video materials quickly, and there were a lot of really helpful mindset related book video summaries.  He interviewed authors about their books, which presumably he ‘read’ at triple speed.  

Even so, as a 60-something retiree, who is not going to do anything at three times speed, I learned a lot.  I learned that mindset is a very powerful tool to master.  Mind mastery – tempered with sanity – is powerful.  

I no longer have a busy badge… you know the badge that almost killed me.  I now have luxurious flexible space in my day.  Trade in your busy badge for a flexible badge.  However you define flexible.  You won’t regret it.  I can almost guarantee it.

Talk again soon!

Life Life, Love Life, Always…