This fun video and short post is from a series about how to focus from my online course, the Science of Finding Flow.
Does anything about that skit seem familiar? Until a few years ago, every time someone would ask me how I was doing, I would always give the same answer: I am so busy. Extremely busy. Crazy busy.
I wore my exhaustion like a trophy, as a sign of my strength and a mark of my character. At one point I ran a Mother’s Day half-marathon with a fever, not wanting to disappoint my family who’d driven 5 hours to watch me. The busier I was, the more important I felt. I was committed to pressing on, despite clear signs that I was headed for a fall.
I had been done in by our culture’s big lie, which is: Busyness is a marker of importance, of character, of economic security.
And this means that the reverse must also be true: If we aren’t busy, we lack importance. We’re insignificant. We’re under-achieving. We’re weak. Un-busy people are lazy, not to be liked or trusted.
Let’s think for a minute about what it really means when we say that we are busy.
If I tell you I’m busy, it isn’t because I’ve just spent an hour hiking, or playing with my dog. It isn’t because I’ve spent the whole afternoon working on an engaging project, and lost all sense of time. I won’t lead with “I’m so busy” if I’m feeling passionate about something I’m writing, or if I feel super creative and productive and efficient and at ease.
I will only tell you I’m busy if I’m hurried. A little on edge. Doing a bunch of stuff that doesn’t really capture my interest or imagination. If you tell me that you are busy, your unconscious is hinting to me that you are a little unhappy or overtired, that you are willing to sacrifice your well-being for your career or your boss or your team at work, or for the long-term success of your children, or doing what you (or other people) think you “should” be doing.
Think for a minute about the last time you felt really busy. What was it that made you feel that way? Was it because you were engaged in lots of playful activities you love? Or because you were sacrificing some of your own needs (maybe just for a short break, or for enough sleep, or for some downtime) for something you felt you had to do, or that you “should” be doing?
This “class” is from “The Science of Finding Flow,” an online course I created as a companion to my book The Sweet Spot: How to Accomplish More by Doing Less. Want to go on to the next class or start the course from the beginning? It’s free! Just go to The Science of Finding Flow course page. Enjoy!