Pushing Back Against the Busyness of Life and Business
The Busyness of Life
Life is busy. In the US, we are enamored by busy. Busy is a way of life and it is strongly encouraged. Without much effort, we are all busy. It is easy to be caught up in the busyness of life and business. We are busy, but to what end?
Busy for What?
Wait. What is the priority? Busy or productivity? Are we taking noticeable strides toward our goals or are we caught up in the busyness of life and business? The inundation of things to do can put us into survival mode. It is in this mode it is easy to lose sight of everything, including what we deem as truly important. What is the point of being so busy if we do not have the time for the things that are important to us?
In a culture where we are ever consuming and being consumed until we are overcommitted, it only takes a small snag or disruption to fall into the territory of overwhelmed. Overwhelmed is never good. Overwhelmed is defined by counter productivity.
Confusing Busy for Success?
If busyness is the goal, we would all be winning! Busyness does not always translate into productivity, however. I have developed the following five busy types based on my life experience and observation. Where do you see yourself?
Undifferentiated Busyness (UB): In constant motion with goals and dreams unrealized or not prioritized.
Overwhelming Busyness (OB): We are busy but needs are not being met, important things are not getting done, and goals and dreams not achieved.
Busyness without reserve (BWR): Busy with minimal forward progress toward dreams and goals. We have numerous things to accomplish and we are getting them done, but we are barely keeping up. There are lots of moving parts. All our effort goes into keeping pace.
Life Deferred Busyness (LDB): Busy planning for the future with meaningful progress toward goals and dreams, but we defer living today for future promises.
Balanced Busyness (BB): We effectively prioritize our time. We have time to pursue personal betterment and assist others in their pursuits.
Balanced busyness is where I thrive. It is here that I am well rested and my goals/dreams are clear. With fatigue from the pace and wear of my schedule and life I can lose sight of my goals and it is then that I feel like I am living Life Deferred Busyness. I believe in delayed gratification, but I also believe that time is not promised. An all work focused existence potentially lacks substance. Finding the right balance is tough and it is different for everybody. When imbalanced my quality of life erodes and I find myself in Busyness Without Reserve. Balanced Business is where I want to be. I want the capacity for personal betterment and to help others. This life is a shared experience.
I am critically reevaluating my priorities. I like action, but I am learning to guard time to think and consider the possibilities. I am not sure if this is a sign of wisdom or fatigue. I ascribe to the work hard play hard philosophy. Still, I desire to work smarter and with greater satisfaction. Quality assessment and improvement require time. There is no room foreither when our schedule/time is saturated.
I am freeing time for the things that are important to me. I am putting myself near the top of the list. In a culture where we are ever consuming and being consumed until we are overcommitted, I am asking pivotal questions to challenge to way we live our life today. I am encouraging each of us to reevaluate the way we spend our time and effort.