Busy but Barren
Again, I’m going to sound like the quintessential old man when I say, “When I was growing up…”
Nevertheless, when I was growing up in the 70s, there was a wave of euphoria that swept through the media that made its way into my social studies, history, and economics classes. The euphoria was a result of futurists claiming that because of advancing technologies when I entered the workforce the average workweek would be four days or less. Every weekend would be a 3-day-er. The futurists went on to say that the trend would continue to the point that we would be inundated with leisure time and working would be by choice only.
Funny how that didn’t quite work out.
Today we are busy but barren – barren spiritually, relationally, and intrinsically. I recently read a blog by Joshua Becker who wrote:
Seemingly, busy has become the default state for too many of our lives. But is the state of busy really improving our lives? Certainly not. Statistics indicate 75% of parents are too busy to read to their children at night. There is a rising number of children being placed in day cares and after-school activities. Americans are having a hard time finding opportunity for vacations these days. 33% of Americans are living with extreme stress daily. And nearly 50% of Americans say they regularly lie awake at night because of stress. This is a problem. We have become too busy. (Becker, 2013, para. 3)
He goes on to give some helpful steps in dealing with busyness. “First,” he says, “realize that busyness is a choice.” That hit home. Leadership guru John Miller advocates in his book QBQ! to take personal responsibility. I believe that’s key. Don’t play the blame game and point fingers at anything or anybody for your own busyness. It’s a choice. It’s your choice.
However, I now the feeling of pressure to be busy, and it seemed that the pressure was external in source. When in fact, the more I self-reflected and peeled back the layers of motive I found that the pressure was based in my own dysfunction. It was bedded in a need for approval or validation and fertilized by insecurities.
With that in mind, slow down and reflect on the motives behind why you choose to be so busy . . . if you dare.
Becker’s blog: http://www.becomingminimalist.com/un-busy/
Miller’s book: https://amzn.com/0399152334
Becker, J. (2013). A Helpful Guide to Becoming Unbusy. Retrieved June 29, 2016, from http://www.becomingminimalist.com/un-busy/
Miller, J. G. (2001). QBQ!: The question behind the question. Denver, CO: Denver Press.
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