Being Busy is Lazy Thinking.
Busy Busy Busy.
Isn’t life soooooo BUSY? I’m busy. You’re busy. We’re all busy. We proudly wear our ‘busy badge’ with honour, attaching our self-worth to how very busy we are.
When we meet friends, clients or colleagues, we’re often asked, “Are you busy?” Sometimes even before we’re asked how we are and especially if we’re self-employed, entrepreneurs or business owners.
There’s this compulsion of course, to immediately reply “Yeah really busy, thanks!” The shame of answering to the contrary, just isn’t worth it, even if, in actual fact, we’re (gasp!) not really all that busy. Its ridiculous!
And don’t get me started on ‘good busy’. At one time or another, we’ve all been involved in a conversation that runs something like this,
“So, how’s business? Are you busy?”
Letting out a frazzled sigh we reply, “Yeah, reeeeally busy!”
Sensing the stress and/or overwhelm, “But you’re good busy, right?”
It’s as though being busy somehow defines how successful we are. And by saying we’re ‘good busy’ we can justify how stressed out and done in, busy can actually make us. We’re all indoctrinated to believe that if we say we’re not busy, people aren’t going to think we’re successful.
But are we busy doing, well, not very much? In his book ‘Four Hour Week’ Tim Ferris says,
‘Being Busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.’
Being busy, good or bad (whatever good or bad busy is!) means that we’re avoiding the thinking. We’re on autopilot. We avoid thinking about what it is that we really need to do, to thrive. We’re saying yes when we really mean no. And we say no to the things that we really want to say yes to.
So, by being ‘busy’, are we really living the life we want to live? Are we living at life without limits? Are we operating optimally in the workplace? Are we working in a way that allows us to show up as our best, most authentic selves?
Of course, the answer is no. More often than not, when we’re ‘busy’, we aren’t being effective or productive and we are placing or allowing others to place limitations on how we live our lives.
‘Being busy is most often used as a guise for avoiding the few critically important but uncomfortable actions.’
It is so easy to say an automatic ‘yes’ to those comfortable tasks, no matter how much this puts on our plate. Doing this allows us to trick ourselves into believing we’re making progress, achieving or being successful. It allows us to avoid the critically important but uncomfortable actions.
Being busy, whilst we can moan about it (‘bad busy’) or we’re ‘good busy’ allows us to avoid the things that we really should be doing in order to live happy and fulfilling lives. A life less ordinary. We can hide behind our ‘busyness’ because the people we interact with reward our action, no matter what this action is. Our needs are met, so being ‘busy’ becomes almost like an addiction.
So how do we get out of our ‘busy badge’ addiction and lazy thinking? One of the way though is quite simply in understanding what is a) important and what is b) urgent. When we’re in overwhelm and wearing our ‘busy badge’ we can quite often confuse the two.
Start with self. Evaluate your criteria for what is important and what is urgent and challenge it. You may be operating based on someone else’s criteria. Are you addicted to busy because it feeds a need? Or are you wearing busy as a badge of honour? Are you telling the world that you’re ‘good busy’ when actually it isn’t working for you?
If you recognise that you are wearing the busy badge of honour instead of exploring what needs to change and how you need to get out of your own way then get in touch. I would be delighted to walk you through my RISK framework that will give you the roadmap to make the changes that are right for you.