Last week I attended a networking event and had the opportunity to mingle with a wonderful group of entrepreneurs who I hadn’t seen in a long time. One of the common threads in all the different conversations I had was how busy everyone seems to be.
Have you noticed in your recent interactions how the most common reply to the question “How are you?” seems to be some variation of “I’m so busy!” What happened to the good old, “I’m fine, thank you. How are you?”
Somehow being “busy” has become a symbol of status and importance. I often overhear friends and colleagues trying to one-up each other in this invented competition. In the New York Times article “The Busy Trap,” Tim Kreider states: “Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.”
The truth is that being busy all the time is counterproductive. Our brains need space to think clearly and strategically. When we get caught up in the busy trap, we are constantly reacting to tasks, emails and whatever else the day throws at us, instead of making purposeful choices about what to do with our time.
Thankfully, there seems to be an ever-growing movement to “stop the glorification of busy.” There are whole Pinterest boards dedicated to the subject, as well as countless articles and blog posts on the matter.
Let’s make the choice to be less busy. Let’s schedule some time to reset, relax and give our mind the space it needs to think creatively, to come up with great ideas.
Starting today, every time you tell yourself (or others) that you are too busy, stop and think about what you are really saying. A recent Huffington Post article describes “busy” as code for “that’s not important to me right now.” Think about everything that is cluttering up your calendar and your to-do list and decide to do only what’s important. You just might discover the joy of being less busy.