We seem to live in an increasingly busy society. As Jeff Shinabarger notes in his video, the word busy seems to have replaced the word fine. It used to be that when we asked someone how they were doing the answer would be, “fine.”
Nowadays many people will respond with the word, “busy.” Do you find yourself saying that? I know I do.
The trap of business
There always seems to be so much to do. We have so many different things competing for our time and attention. There are errands to run, places to be, and extra curricular activities to fit into our overcrowded schedules.
On top of that there are the endless demands of our homes and gardens. The “to do” lists get longer by the day and can be almost tyrannical in their demands. As a consequence it can be really easy to put off connecting with our families. I just need to
- respond to this one e-mail
- clean house
- mow the lawn
- finish my presentation
- put on one load of laundry
And before you know it another day has gone by and you realize that you have spent the day doing all kinds of things, but you haven’t really had time for any significant interaction with your family.
If you are anything like me you still have things on that wretched list that didn’t get done yet. As someone who has raised three children and seen them into adulthood I want to tell you what I learned.
The to do lists and work will always be there, but your children will not
Before you can blink you will be helping them carry their stuff out of the house as you desperately try to figure out where on earth the time went.
A simple phrase that will change everything
Recently I learned one simple phrase that has the power to help us push aside the demands of the day, so we can concentrate on the things like family relationships. If used well it will drown out the voice of our inner critics and help us overcome the drive for perfection. That phrase is “Good enough for today.” These wise words came from a six-year-old girl who simply wanted to spend time with her mother who was fretting over something she had to do.
Imagine how you can use this phrase in your everyday life
- The items I have crossed off my to do list are good enough for today.
- My house and garden are good enough for today.
- The work I have done on my presentation, website, blog, book (insert your current project) is good enough for today.
- The phone calls I have made are good enough for today.
- The number of e-mails I have written is good enough for today.
Do you see how powerful those words are? What you have accomplished is good enough for today. Now you can slap a muzzle on your “to do” list and go play with your children, or spend time with your family instead.