Overbooked, over-scheduled and over-exhausted.

That's how psychologist David Sbarra felt. By day, he conducted research, taught college students and wrote papers. By night, Sbarra shuttled his kids to various activities. With a family and demanding career, there wasn't much time left for much else.

In a piece he wrote for Vox about how he trained himself to be less busy, Sbarra describes an all-too-familiar feeling in today's productivity-hungry and success-driven era. While he knew he was trying to jam too much into one day, the only person was to blame was himself. "I created this mess -- a life at breakneck speed from the moment I wake until I finally watch 30 minutes of Netflix before drifting off," he says.

Sbarra describes a rock-bottom moment. He began to feel claustrophobic in his own life. So he decided to do something about it. Completely turning off from his career and family obligations wasn't an option. Instead, he looked for simple, yet powerful ways he could banish busyness in moments throughout his day. Here are a few of the tactics he tried.

Go outside

Sbarra simply began walking more, even if only for a few minutes. He would pick a further-away parking spot or take a short walk at lunch. "It would not be an overstatement to say that an additional 40 minutes a day of walking just two or three times a week has changed me in a profound way," he writes. It gave him more time to think and energized him.

Countless studies have proven the happiness-boosting, calm-inducing and creativity-generating benefits of spending time in nature. Science gives mad happiness props to walking, too. A recent study found as little as 15 minutes of moderate movement (like taking a short walk, easy bike ride or short jog) provides an instant dose of happiness.

Embrace idleness

Sbarra began to rebel against his constant need to do something productive. When a moment of downtime presented itself, he took that opportunity to simply do nothing. "Mostly, I am looking for an opportunity to enjoy the moments of life in an unstructured way; I am looking for more play," he says. No Netflix, no picking up his phone to check Facebook. One such moment of idleness led to an impromptu game with his 5-year-old daughter -- which he says were the best 30 minutes of his year so far. And, more time spent not working made the time he did spend working more productive.

Ditch Facebook

Initially Sbarra got off Facebook to remove himself from the toxic nature of social media swirling around the presidential election. He then realized how much Facebook had been sucking up his attention. Previously the platform had pulled him in and he could not resist its forces. Once he was off, the gravitational pull of Facebook began to subside. "When I got past my FOMO and let it go, I gained back many moments in my day," he says.

These are just a few of the tactics Sbarra leveraged to improve his life by tackling his busyness. Read his full piece onVox to pick up a couple more.