Most people won’t make it to the end of this article. But that’s understandable. In the three minutes that it would take to focus and read every word, you could check your Snapchat, reply to a text, double tap some Instagram pics and scroll through your Facebook feed – all while listening to music and shopping online for new shoes.

We’re addicted to being busy

Research from the Future Leaders Index shows that the majority of 18- to 29-year-olds like being very busy. Doing only one thing at a time (or, shock horror, nothing at all) fills us with dread and a feeling that we’re missing out, wasting time or somehow falling behind.

...so we multitask

Unfortunately our brains aren’t built to do complex multitasking. As Dr Rebecca Sng from UOW School of Psychology points out, “It costs mental energy to switch back and forth between tasks, so you’re often making things harder for yourself. You’re dividing your attention and not doing either task justice. It can cause your mind to feel busy and full.”

 Addicted to being busy - Inline meme

...which stresses us out

This busyness makes it difficult to juggle everything that’s going on in our lives. In fact, only 13% of young adults are rarely or never stressed.

...and this makes us sick.

The high level of stress is having negative impacts on our health and social life, with over 75% of young adults suffering from physical and/or mental health issues when busy.

Stop and focus on one thing

Dr Sng, who helped developed the HSC Stress Less app, says we can combat this busyness addiction by participating in some Mindfulness. “When you sit back and observe what’s happening on in your mind, you’ll often find there’s a lot going on. Mindfulness is all about deliberately focusing on just one thing, like your breathing, and when your mind wanders, which it will, accepting that without judgement and then bringing yourself back to that one thing.”

...and look after your wellbeing

If you choose to further your studies at uni you’ll discover many programs and activities to help you find a good head space. UOW Wellbeing offers loads of free workshops to keep you stress-free, relaxed and focused. There’s also a Wellbeing Festival packed with music, free food and wellness demonstrations, while accommodation residences run regular workshops to help you look after your physical health and mental wellbeing while living on campus. 

...so you can live happily ever after.

You made it (or you just read the subheadings). Either way, you’re now more aware of how being super-busy may be affecting your life and how you can manage it by simply doing one thing at a time.

Fascinated with why people behave the way they do? Check out the range of Psychology degrees available at UOW.

BONUS: Watch UOW Students Ed & Elly chat about services that help you manage and balance your life at uni...