On Being Busy

One of the things that constantly amazes me is how busy people are. From fellow students at University to people who “work normal jobs”, small business owners and businessmen, everyone seems to be not only always too busy, but also take great pride in it. We have managed to create a society where being busy is one of the highest traits and even become a measure of success in itself.

I am not going to lie, I like being busy myself, but I also very much like to get “free time” to spend on doing things I like, relaxing (recharging is one of the biggest keys to success) and hanging out with friends.

Most people I meet aren’t that busy, they just think they are (there are as always exceptions to the rule). Even with running a successful business, studying full time economics on the side as a hobby, I still manage to find (a lot of) time to read, watch TV and hang out with friends. Don’t get me wrong, I am absolutely not trying to be patronizing to anyone here, or even saying that you need to be doing tons of things in order to be able to call yourself busy. I am merely observing the differences in a broad spectrum of professional roles. Compared to many what I do wouldn’t classify as busy by a long stretch.

The conclusion that I draw is that we are practically as busy as we consider ourselves being. In some remarkable way, our mental state of “I am busy I don’t have time for anything” turns into a self fulfilling prophecy where we instead end up so busy that we instead start to regret it—without actually doing more or less things! This regardless of how “busy” we really are.

I invite you to try and do what I did. Take a look at a few of your typical weeks and look at what you do. If you are really serious even time your activities (I never seem to be able to do this on non-client tasks). Do this critically and see how you spend your time and see if you really are as busy as you think you are or if you still can’t find that time to watch TV, read a book or hang out with friends that you in your stressed mind think you don’t have time for.

Afterwards, you’ll then be able to, hopefully, enjoy all the other good parts of life a little more.