Our days and nights seem to be filled with obligations. In December, after juggling family, a job, this blog, and a three and a half hour round trip commute, I decided to focus on what was important and jump. (To make it all work, I'd cut sleeping to at most four hours a night and begun drinking over a pot of coffee a day!) I'm still busy, but now I have time to sit back and reflect or change venue when I get writer's block.
On Friday, Marketing Profs, shared a 2012 New York Times Op Ed piece, "The 'Busy' Trap." The basic premix is that we do this to ourselves. Why? Because we're afraid of being insignificant.
"It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed. ... They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence. ... Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day."
Maybe it's something else. We've found what we love, but we're doing it on the side, filling our evenings and weekends with it. The Onion had a great piece, "Find The Thing You're Most Passionate About Then Do It On The Weekends For The Rest of Your Life" earlier this week.
One of the paradoxes to The Good Life is that when we start burning ourselves out to attain it and not taking the time to enjoy the fruits of our labor we've lost The Good Life.
Whatever the reason for our busyness, we need to step back and really think about why we've said yes to what we're doing. Do we love the activity? Is it helping us reach one of our goals? Or does it just make us feel good (that's valid to)? If we hate the activity and it's not helping us reach a goal, can we do something else? What plan can we put in place to do something different?
If you've overcommitted, what can you say no to?
Credits: All layouts designed by and images taken by Eden Hensley Silverstein for The Road to the Good Life.