Being busy is one of my favorite complaints to make. If you ask me how things are going, 9 times out of 10 I’ll tell you, “I’m busy.” It’s true, I really am a busy person. I’ve got work to do, a house to tend, a wife to love, a dog to walk, friends to keep up with, and a slew of extracurriculars.
I’m not alone in this either. I assume that as you read my list you are simultaneously going over all the errands you need to run and chores you need to do. The world is a busy place and we’re all trying to keep up.
This busy world we live in is exacerbated by the rapid pace things must happen in. If we have something on our to do list, it has to happen now and in the process of completing one task our inboxes will be crammed with more invitations and obligations.
You would think that after going through a few years of this drudgery, busyness would be public enemy number one. The craziest part is that we don’t hate busyness, we embrace it and wear it like a badge of honor.
Tim Kreider says it best in his piece for the New York Times, The ‘Busy’ Trap
“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.”
We associate busyness with meaning and importance. Sure we complain when the boss asks us to stay late or we have to go to some out of town conference. But how much more angry are we when someone else gets to be busy?
The problem is that we think that if we’re not busy we’re not doing anything worthwhile. However, the opposite of busy isn’t idleness, it’s balance.
At Create the Movement we think balance is of the utmost importance. That’s why we made it one of our core principals.
“Customer service is a top priority, but family comes first. Maintaining a healthy personal life allows us to be refreshed and bring our A game every time we step into the office. The 80 hours a week model of working is not only antiquated, it simply doesn’t produce high quality work.”
Our noses are to the grindstone when we’re in the office, but when it’s time to go home, we go home. Working in a creative industry where ideas are everything, we can’t be cooped up in the office. We need to be refreshed daily so we can have fresh ideas for our clients.
Refreshment might not be as important in other industries, but the busy trap is just as prevalent. We want to be part of the culture that values balance over busy. It’s not easy and we might send a midnight email every now and then, but we think we’re moving in the right direction.