It never fails that when I ask someone how they are, their immediate response is “I’m really busy”. Everyone, and I do mean everyone, is busy these days, and it makes me a bit uncomfortable because I am not sure if I am interrupting them from something important. However, as the conversation progresses, I realize that there is a difference between being busy, and being productive.
We can all find things to keep us busy, especially with social media, so spending hours on the internet, can expend a lot of our time. Then, we are scrambling to get things accomplished, so our life becomes hectic.
I had to step back and take a look at my own life. I realized that I too would respond that I was busy, but the reality was, when I became more productive, I had more time to give to myself and others. We have been conditioned to believe that we have to be doing something, every minute of the day or we are lazy. Then at some point in our evening (perhaps it’s happy hour), we have earned the right to relax and regurgitate our day to anyone willing to listen. And yet, we do it all again the very next day.
It’s almost become a competition now, who has the busier life?
I was eating lunch with a colleague the other day, and couldn't help overhearing a conversation at the table next to us. They were almost in an argument attempting to one-up each other, on which one had a busier schedule and lifestyle. Multi-tasking has become a badge of honor. The more you can multi-task, the more accomplished you appear. The reality is, the more you multi-task, the less productive you are because your ability to give 100% to each task is greatly reduced by the number of tasks you take on.
I ask you to stop and evaluate your lifestyle. Are you using your time to be productive, or just keeping busy? When I see employees at different offices on Facebook, Twitter, or shopping online, they absolutely appear busy as they are pounding away on the keyboard, but they aren't producing for their employers. Even our time at home can be more productive if we strategize a plan. Making a list keeps me accountable for my actions, as I can sometimes be a procrastinator. That feeds on my need to feel busy, but with a list, I can check it off and it keeps me on task.
We all have 24 hours in our day. How we choose to spend them is up to us.
So, when someone asks you how you are doing, think before you say ‘busy’, unless you truly are.
Until next time~