What does it mean to be busy? Is it measured by the time of day or the amount of effort? Or both? Perhaps it’s what you compare it to? Your normal schedule or something. Nevertheless, I think we can agree that when someone is busy, they don’t have time to do anything else. I’ve heard that being busy is a form of laziness. That you are preoccupying your time with other things and putting off the more necessary to-dos that you should be doing. I agree with that to a degree. In some situations that will be true. Others, I don’t see it as accurate. Someone can be fairly busy while executing necessities, not avoiding them. But busyness can be viewed another way as well, similar to the latter but slightly readjusted. Busy, or being busy, is just another way of staying distracted, not excluding necessary goals, but primarily from necessary problems relating to yourself.
The narrative that being busy is a good thing – because you are progressing toward something, supposedly – is a complete fallacy, made popular by motivation videos, corporate CEO documentaries, insecure fitness addicts, unmedicated ADHD victims, toxic feminism and masculinity, and the rest of us. For some reason, we were made to believe that being busy makes us successful (rich) and therefore happy, whereas that couldn’t be farther from the truth. Furthermore, it has morphed to become this sort of distraction and addiction itself that people love to remain in. You ask how someone is doing, 90% of them will reply with ‘I’m good… busy though.’ Sure, generally speaking, people are relatively busy. With a day job that takes up more than half your day and then you have to come home, cook for the kids, do the laundry, clean the house, feed and walk the dog, then have the time and energy to exercise, read something and enjoy life. Those people are busy, I agree. But looking at more of the mindset and methodology behind being busy, there are a lot of people who need to stay busy, for the sake of staying busy. It becomes a drug that takes the edge off your insecurities, your doubts, and whatever other personal problems you may have.
I’m staying busy, therefore I am working towards something, therefore I have value. I’m busy, therefore people look at me as an important person. False. The value one gets from being busy is one of the many illusions modern society has coaxed us into believing. There seems to have been a mix up between what we produce and who we are, as they have become intermingled where they do not mix, like water and oil. All of the personal problems you have will not be solved by being busy. And frankly, I’m tired of people attaching themselves to it, thinking it’s a virtue when it’s just blind meandering. Just because you are busy, does not mean you are productive, and does not mean that you are working in your favour. The majority of busy people are rather putting in work for someone else anyway. Though, if we start to take notice of how we spend our time, and if we are attributing our busyness to overall success and happiness, we can begin to put busyness back in its proper spot and start fixing the real problems, the ones that will actually make us successful and happy.
Because it all starts with ourselves. Happiness comes from within, we know this… it’s time to start behaving as such. Being busy does not grant you anything. Now, filling up your day with activities and work that would deem someone as busy, is okay. As long as it is purposeful and nurturing. This is where the tricky part comes in, as to whether or not you’re one of those people who attribute busyness with success and value, but that is the important work that is needed. In essence, it is what busy people are avoiding. Find what fills you up, what nurtures you, and fill your day with that. Do not fill it with mindless work that can be disguised as a good kind of busy. The only good kind of busy is one that leaves you feeling good about waking up and doing it all again tomorrow. Perhaps, that’s a good place to start for some self-discovery.
To conclude, maybe there is a laziness attached to being busy. But let’s not forget about the fear as well. And that fear will leave you crippled for life. If you look beneath the laziness and the fear, you will instead find your beautiful self, waiting to be recognized and fulfilled.
We are what we eat, we are what we do, don’t let being busy take that away from you.