Lately I’ve thought a lot about business and busyness.
Because I run businesses, I help businesses, I’m passionate about business, and it keeps me super busy!
Also, and more so why it’s been on my mind, I’ve realized how often everyone says, “Oh ya know, I’m just really busy.” in response to, “Hey how are you!?”
This can’t be good – but not for the reasons you may be thinking.
I don’t think busyness is in-and-of-itself, bad. Not at all! I actually think it’s good.
One of the greatest revolutions in my life came towards the end of my college career when I started praying, “Give me something worth my time” and I actually began looking for and making those things.
I’ve been insanely busy ever since – happily busy (most days)!
I think we’re made to be busy! We want to be and need to be if we’re going to do meaningful things and keep them alive and working well.
But I’m tired of the answer, “I’m busy” for HOW I’m doing. I’m tired of hearing it from others too.
I’ve recently started doing everything I can to avoid saying it. Ya know, if I am truly happily busy, why not say, “I’m happy! I’m doing great! Enjoying getting things done that matter! And… don’t matter!”
It has me pondering though, why do people say this so much?
Are You to Blame for Your Own Busyness?
I could write my own thoughts, but I think this article hits the nail on the head:
“Another huge contributing factor to our sense of overwhelm, according to sociologist John Robinson, who is famed for pioneering the use of time diaries in his research, is self-perception. When Schulte speaks to him for the book, he reveals most of us are a lot less busy than we claim we are. His meticulous documentation of how we spend our days reveals that in general we have 30-40 hours of free time each week.
“It’s very popular, the feeling that there are too many things going on, that people can’t get in control of their lives and the like,” Robinson says. “But when we look at peoples’ diaries there just doesn’t seem to be the evidence to back it up.”
So if we have a full-time job’s worth of leisure per week, what’s driving our constant claims of out-of-control busyness? Bragging, asserts researcher Ann Burnett, who Schulte also interviews. Examining how we talk about our lives by looking at things like holiday letters, Burnett concludes that busyness has actually become a sign of status. We bitch about how busy we are, in other words, to assert our importance.”
Boom! Nailed it!
Read the article here: The Cold, Hard Truth: You’re Overwhelmed Because You Want to Be
I think this is spot on.
Often, we are to blame for our own “FEELINGS” of overwhelm and busyness. We have the time, we just don’t use it well.
We entertain ourselves a lot. We “rest” a lot. Or, in my case, we “educate” ourselves on stuff we don’t possibly need educated on!
We waste lots of time, yes, but even worse is that we don’t account well for how much time we’re actually “resting” or just jacking around. It’s like we selectively forget we spent 2 hours on Facebook and 3 hours on the articles and videos we then opened because of Facebook.
We then turn around and say, “I’m so busy! I’m so swamped! Can’t seem to get ahead! Can’t get that project done that I’ve been wanting to do – ya know, my life just won’t allow it.”
Besides using it as a status symbol of being important – which is sad – what’s sad to me is that this seems like a “safe” and rather fearful way out of doing hard work and pursuing the desire or goals we’d love to accomplish. It’s the blame game.
Then of course there’s the status of busyness – come on, can’t we find a better source for self-worth?
I can. If you can’t, shoot me an email. I’ll give you 50 options, most of them good, a couple of them great.