Right now, you’re reading this article but you may have hundreds of other things going on in your mind—unread emails, to-do lists, household chores and such.
You have mentally planned to read this for 5 minutes and then get back to work. You’re busy. That’s supposed to be a good thing, right? Not always.
Most of the time, we confuse general busy-ness with productivity—that’s the root of the problem.
Being busy has somehow become a badge of honor. The prevailing notion is that if you aren’t super busy, you aren’t important or hard working.
says Dr. Travis Bradberry, in a HuffingtonPost article.
Here’s why you shouldn’t fall into the busy trap:
1. You don’t get to live in the moment
Busyness is something we bring on ourselves. It is human nature to run behind things that are profitable. However, in this rat race, we often forget to enjoy the present. RIP Carpe Diem.
‘Busy’ is just the classier way of saying stressed. Then why do we take pride in being busy? How do we make sure that we’re being productive and not just busy? Psychologist Mihaly Csikszentmihaly proposes a promising concept: be in the FLOW.
What is Flow?
Being completely involved in an activity for its own sake. The ego falls away. Time flies. Every action, movement, and thought follows inevitably from the previous one, like playing jazz. Your whole being is involved, and you’re using your skills to the utmost.
2. Being too busy = Being sick
Symptoms: being in a hurry always [waiting for elevators, in queues, traffic lights].
Effects: anxiety, increased production of stress hormones that have been linked to heart disease.
Being a workaholic is a good thing, but if you find yourself constantly on the run, you need to slow down. No promotion or paycheck is more important than your health [and sanity]. No matter how packed your schedule is, take out some time for doing nothing, and don’t feel guilty about it.
In her article ‘Busy is the new sick’ in boston.com, Dr. Suzanne Koven shares an example:
The pervasiveness of busy-ness is such that we may not even notice it anymore. A patient of mine wanted to be tested for anemia–why else could she be so tired? It didn’t occur to her that working full time, going to school, and caring for a severely disabled child might have something to do with her exhaustion.
3. Being busy lowers productivity
Ironically, being busy is also bad for your career—especially if you are in a creative or innovative profession. Your thinking ability is at its lowest when you’re busy.
A study by University of Southern California found:
When people wakefully rest in the functional MRI scanner, their minds wander, and they engage a so-called default mode (DM) of neural processing that is relatively suppressed when attention is focused on the outside world.
Ever wondered why you get more creative ideas in the shower as compared to your desk at work? Now you know.
Not busy? Good for you!
Busyness without purposefulness can lead to dissatisfaction so why not try to find a wider and a deeper reason to what you are doing.
Once you seek the purpose, you are more productive. You start doing things with motivation and commitment. So stop berating yourself for ‘wasting time doing nothing’.
Do you like being busy? Why? Give us your thoughts on this topic in the comments below.