Let’s stop treating busy as a badge of honor

We take a little pride in being busy, really busy, too busy. Maybe this validates us, gives us a sense of purpose, lets us feel there is value to our life. But I think it’s time we stop to consider the impact of our busy-ness and stop holding it in such high regard.

What do we lose by having too much busy-ness is our life?

There’s a lot to lose by being too busy:

  • precious time with family & friends
  • a chance to simply think
  • a break from the noise of life
  • time to do something we really want to do, like take a class…or not
  • rest for our mind, body, soul
  • peace

What does busy look like?

Everyone knows the busy that looks like one of us running around like a chicken with our head cut off:

  • errands
  • meetings
  • phone calls
  • email
  • tending to family members
  • a friend’s crisis

That’s one kind of busy. Easy enough to stop. Well, maybe not easy.

The other busy.

There’s another kind of busy that has creeped up on us so quietly that we may not even be aware of it’s presence.

  • computer lights & noise & attention-grabbing
  • email dinging noises
  • cell phones that do everything but fry an egg
  • dare I say it? Facebook notifications
  • television
  • radio

Surprised? Try this. Take a day and notice how many times one of these intrudes into your mind, hearing, vision. Keep count. You’ll be amazed!

These aren’t bad things. They’re actually quite handy to have around. I wouldn’t be writing this blog without one of them. I’m not advocating going back to the stone age or joining the Amish for the remainder of our lives.

But each time you see, hear or have an encounter with one of these technological wonders, a little piece of you is tied up in a kind of busy-ness.

Add that to things that take over our lives from relationships and you’ve got a heckuva lot of busy!

How can we be less busy?

  • First, we stop the glorification of busy!
  • Stop treating  ”I’m so busy” like it’s a badge of honor.
  • Allow others to say NO to your requests even if they don’t seem very busy.
  • Start practicing the Art of just Being.

What’s your “busy” story? Share in the comments.


The original article, “Stop the glorification of busy” by Karen Tingen was originally published on Livin on the Skinny
Photo by Bob Peterson from North Palm Beach, Florida, Planet Earth! (Here Be BeesUploaded by Jacopo Werther) [CC-BY-SA-2.0], via Wikimedia Commons
Karen Tingen
Social Media Marketing Consultant. Blogger & Speaker on organizing by living simply.
  • http://www.facebook.com/t.vincent.smith Vincent Smith

    One of my favorite quotes from Robert A. Heinlein (all emphasis mine):

    “It is easier to deal with a footpad than it is with the leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please — this won’t take long.” Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time — and squawk for more!

    So learn to say No — and to be rude about it when necessary. Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.
    (This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.)”

  • Terra Kinder

    Love it!