Have you realised how frequently we throw around the B word? More than the B word you’re probably thinking of. I’m curious – why do we thrive off being busy? Why do we feel the need to wear a permanent busy badge and out-busy one another, despite the mental and physical implications that follow? It seems that busyness has stepped into the spotlight of celebrated status symbols. Forget the tangible, branded goods we traditionally parade around. Apparently, if we can out-list each other in the busy game, we win. Brag your way up the social ladder – that’s how we do it in the 21st century. Busy is the new black.
Most of us have fallen down this rabbit hole, whether it’s through the conscious or subconscious mind – we foolishly aspire for busy. What we don’t realise is that by participating in this relentless pursuit of social status, we’re dancing down the road of self sabotage.
Self-sabotage in the process
It’s all a self-inflicted haze. We knowingly stretch our weekly agenda, testing the elasticity of our physical and mental capabilities, in a persistent attempt to do it all and redefine the one adjective that we ought to be using a little less. Why do we feel compelled to internally manufacture busyness, at the expense of our wellbeing? Is it because we’re on some quest for fulfilment? Well, we’re not going to find it by cramming our days to the point that we forget what day it is.
The incessant flood of tasks and obligations you’ve single handedly manufactured will extinguish your fire and drown your internal spirit, if you’re not careful. When your time is thinly spread across numerous tasks, all of which you’ve blindly categorised as necessary, you’re thoughtlessly subtracting your own personal freedom and depriving yourself from the things in life that genuinely bring you joy. Remain self aware. When the element of joy is stripped from the equation and replaced with epic, unworthy exhaustion and resentment, you’ve transcended anything remotely productive and entered mentally volatile territory.
The unproductive path
There is a fundamental difference between the busy and the productive. We should all be striving for the latter. If busy is our status quo, it means we haven’t ironed out our priorities or uncovered the importance of saying no. It suggests that we’re talking more than we’re doing which begs the million dollar question – are we all talk or are we backing it up with tangible results?
Be honest with yourself. Do you secretly enjoy the workaholic title you’ve acquired? Does it make you feel superior, worthy of your position? The fact is, clocking the most hours does not make you an effective worker. Quite the contrary actually. The workaholic title is not a sustainable role, neither is it one you should be proud of. It’s one you should be urgently reevaluating.
Let’s detach ourselves from the need to be busy. Let’s filter out the BS in our schedule and embrace a cleaner agenda. Only then will we be able to escape the burnout plague and tap into a more productive lifestyle.