Being Busy is Overrated
We’re all just so “busy” these days. “Slammed” in fact. “Buried.” Desperately “trying to keep our heads above water.” “Overloaded”
Busy is a catch all term. When we say “busy,” we’re really trying to say something else—although what exactly that might be depends on the harried soul that’s complaining:
I’m busy = I’m important.
Being busy gives people a sense they’re needed and important. It’s also a sign that you are self-imposing these measures of self-worth by looking at quantity instead of quality of activity. Busyness does not equal productivity.
I’m busy = I’m giving you an excuse.
Saying that you’re busy is a handy way to outsource your responsibility to your irresponsibility. Since you’re always distracted, you don’t have to do anything for anybody.
I’m busy = I’m winning.
To say that “I’m busier than you are” means I’m more important, or that my time is more valuable, or that I am “winning” at some never ending rat race. What you’re trying to say with these responses is: I’m busier, more in-demand, more successful.
Busyness is not a virtue, it’s an error in perspective. It’s easy to think that quantity of activities is quality. It allows us to avoid meaningful interactions, commitments, common courtesy, etc.
In this way, busyness functions as a kind of laziness. To combat this mentality you need to be purposeful in your actions. Set goals for your day and make some promises to yourself to be accountable for your activities.
And by all means, use your vocabulary, there are other ways to convey your priorities and availability without using the “B” word. Work smarter, not harder and enjoy your life, people interactions and activities.