I was at my son’s Birthday party on Saturday and was catching up with a number of people I hadn’t seen for quite some time. They all asked how I was and my response to all of them was ‘I’m incredibly busy’.
Later that day I reflected on that response and what it meant… Was I finding fulfilment in my ’busyness’ or did I feel like I ‘needed’ to be busy at all times? I mean if I am busy then business and life must be going well… right? I had found meaning in my busyness. It reflected ambition and a level of importance. However, was it actually leading to happiness or fulfilment?
I had been taken hostage by the ‘busyness’ epidemic.
I was speaking to a client last week and asked her how her day off had been. She responded by informing me that she couldn’t enjoy it because she felt guilty. She was guilty for not being ‘busy’ and that consumed her leisure time.
As a society, have we reached a point where leisure, time for reflection and relaxation is deemed a luxury? No one is proclaiming how relaxed they are with the same confidence they are with their busyness. We are all trying to outdo each other and be busier than the next person. Long days at the office are medals of honour, days off are a sign of weakness and a ‘To Do’ list longer than your arm is paraded like a roll of achievement.
I love my work and derive incredible joy from it. I also value time for reflection, leisure and me. However, I diminished the importance of these integral components in life to find more approval and sound more impressive.
Are you finding meaning in being busy? Are you wearing your business as a badge of honour to inflate your importance? Is your busyness a means of approval?
There are seasons of busyness that will you undoubtedly endure during different phases of life. However, the constant yearn for busyness robs you of joy in the present, the insights that only come from periods of reflection and the happiness you attain from real connections.