Note: This post is a riff off a larger article written for the Huffington Post
Being busy is mostly something we’ve created.
We rush around, taking on more and more, feeling harassed and getting stressed because that’s what the masses do. We’re in this together. No time to think why.
Technology that was meant to help us just creates more busy in our lives. We can now be contacted 24 hours a day. We can check email anytime. We’re plugged in constantly.
We wear busy as a badge of honour. We’re strangely proud to be busy, almost boastful, because we think that’s what we should be doing with our time. If we’re not busy then what?
We’re working hard. We’re busier but goals still remain frustratingly out of reach. The dream holiday with the family we’ve promised them never materialises. If it does, it takes us a week to just reset and hit a baseline of un-busy.
Catching up with friends turns into a yearly, but still rushed, get together. We’re busy after all.
We’re wired for busy. But busy isn’t working for us. In fact, we’re paying a heavy price for all this busy. Maybe there’s another way.
Unplug from Busy
Maybe we need to unplug from busy.
Maybe we need to see busy less as something to be chased and rather as an indication that we need more balance in our life.
Maybe we need to make sure that if we are busy, we’re busy with something that is truly important and valuable. Not busy checking social media shares or moving bits of paper around the office that no one ever reads.
Being busy and being productive are mutually exclusive.
Being busy and being successful are mutually exclusive.
In fact, take a look at the most successful and productive people you know. Do they scurry around complaining how busy they are? Or do they focus on what is important and spend their time on it? Unhurried, unrushed – just focused.
We all get the same number of hours in a day. How we use them is up to us.
Once we stop looking at the world through a prism of busy everything starts to look different. Everything starts to become clearer. The noise and humdrum gets the volume turned down. We can suddenly find quality time for friends, family, hobbies and passion projects. We can find time to reflect, to think, to pause and to reset.
Forget busywork and forget chasing busy for its own sake.
Fight the urge to follow the crowd on the never-ending busy escalator. Think freely and act with discretion.
Get focused. Get unbusy.
Posts Elsewhere: In case you missed it, I was fortunate enough to guest post on the fantastic Tiny Buddha site recently.