Busy Isn’t a Bragging Right

As a society we need to confront our obsession with being busy.

Whether it’s managers in the workplace who are more concerned with how many hours a worker is online as opposed to what they produce, or parents who are obsessed with scheduling every waking moment of their child’s life, or life hackers trying to teach us how to sleep less while doing more, we’ve come to equate being busy with being valuable.  Being busy has become a status symbol.

In his book Laziness Does Not Exist, Devon Price explores the history behind our obsession, which dates back to the Puritans and has been amplified by technology, especially in the workplace.  What’s most interesting about this research is that Price is able to outline how we do more work today than any other people in human history, yet we never feel we’re doing enough. 

The key to undoing this, according to Price, is to be honest with yourself about your needs and let others do the same.  We also need to revisit the expectations we set for ourselves, which often lead to us beating ourselves up when we don’t reach the highest of heights.

So instead of bragging about being busy, what if we started bragging about how much rest we’re getting?  Or how many meetings we turn down? What if we celebrated the little wins along the way, instead of waiting for the big win-fall?  This could change not only our own perception of what matters, but could start to influence those around us to think differently.

So, if you let go of being busy, what would YOU brag about?