The Busy Race and the Price of Your Pace

An excerpt from Breaking Up with Busy by Yvonne Tally

Women today have reset the bar, and it’s high. They collectively aim into the stratosphere: to be the most creative and dynamic professionals, the parents with all the answers, the most understanding and loving partners, and the best and most reliable friends. Their perfectionistic expectations have led to an unrealistic and terribly demanding mind-set, and they multitask from one event to another, silently murmuring under their exhausted, coffee-soaked breath, “Something’s got to give. I’m tired of it always being me!”

In Breaking Up with Busy: Real-Life Solutions for Overscheduled Women, author Yvonne Tally offers practical, effective solutions to the frustrations caused by a time-strapped lifestyle. We hope you’ll enjoy this excerpt from the book.


You are living a life, not running a race. Slowing the pace so you’re not racing and constantly playing catch-up begins one step at a time. And the first step is to understand what motivates your behavior and the comfort the behavior provides you. Once you do, you can devise some solid solutions and make space for new resourceful habits to take hold.

You’ll begin doing that by exploring the Ten Signs That You Need to Break Up with Busy, which will help you determine what’s underneath your busy habits. It’s time to get in touch with who you are without all that busyness and to begin setting a new pace that feels right for you. In the process, you’ll influence other women to do the same.

Ten Signs That You Need to Break Up with Busy
You frequently opt out of doing something for yourself when one of your loved ones requests your time.
You have a mixed sense of doing too much and not getting enough done.
Busy is your new normal.
You feel controlled by your schedule.
You eat at least one meal each day while standing up or doing something else.
You’re experiencing weight shifts, skin issues, or hair loss.
You’re not getting enough sleep, you have insomnia, your libido is low.
Things you once enjoyed taking time for now feel like inconveniences.
You often feel overwhelmed or anxious.
You constantly feel like you are rushing just to keep up with yourself.

Do any of these signs feel familiar? Of course they do! Busy is a club with far too many members. Ignoring these signs may seem harmless enough; however, busyness can put you and your health at risk. Though I could check off most of the items on the list above, like many other OSWs, I ignored the signs until I ended up in the emergency room. Unfortunately, that’s not an uncommon event for many women, nor is having a compromised immune system brought on by ignoring our bodies’ signals.

What’s the Price of Your Pace?
What’s the price of your pace? Your health? Your relationships? Your career?

Now that you’ve determined the signs that it’s time for you to break up with busy, you can begin to advance that awareness and discover what motivates your busyness and the importance it represents in your life. The three questions below will help you begin your exploration of both.
What motivates you to continue your busy pace?
What value does your busy pace provide you?
What do you want, and what do you need, to make it happen?

Take a few minutes for each question and consider each with thoughtful consideration; it’s a significant step that will help you gain clarity around your motivations so that you can begin your break from busy. These questions may not be easy to answer. Perhaps you’ve never thought about what motivates you or considered the concept that busy is a choice, a culture, a behavior, one that entices you to feel important and valued. Just by exploring these questions, you’ve expanded your awareness, and awareness allows you to recognize your blind spots and build on your strengths. So, congratulations! You’re on your way to breaking up with busy and starting to live your life instead of just running the race. Understanding exactly what strategies you have in place that are keeping you busy and overscheduled is your next step.

Yvonne Tally is the author of Breaking Up with Busy and leads meditation and de-stressing programs for corporations, individuals, and private groups in Silicon Valley. An NLP master practitioner, Yvonne cofounded Poised Inc., a Pilates and wellness training studio, and is the founder of the Sisterhood of the Traveling Scarves, a charity that provides headscarves to cancer patients. She lives in Northern California. Visit her online at

Excerpted from the book Breaking Up with Busy. Copyright ©2018 by Yvonne Tally. Printed with permission from New World Library.