Busy and productive are not synonymous
Being busy has become the norm. It's now a lifestyle, an identity, and the belief that we get to be and feel accomplished through busyness. It even has a name, the 'cult of busyness.'
How often do you hear yourself and others say, "I'm so busy right now," or, "that was such a busy week?"
As a society, we like to be productive. Do these two things go together?
Productivity started in the agricultural revolution. The output of the soil was measured by how many crops were produced. At the time, a reduction in productivity could lead to starvation.
And then came the industrial revolution, where machines started to become central to how we worked. Over time, they were optimized to increase their output of oil, charcoal extraction, cotton creation, etc.
How could systems be improved to increase productivity and reduce cost? How could we take leaps in productivity by replacing systems altogether?
The term productivity was a measure of the output by systems.
The busier we kept the machines, with necessary maintenance, the more productive they were and the more profit we made.
It seems as if we've started looking at ourselves as machines, thinking and believing the busier we are, the more productive we will be.
For instance, some organizations try to optimize their workforce by making decisions to cram more responsibilities onto their people to reduce their costs. The more employees can take on, the busier they are kept, the less organizations have to spend out of their pockets. But at what cost?
Busy people, especially past a certain threshold, are not as productive.
More and more research is discovering that sleep, regular breaks, healthy food choices, as well as shorter workdays can boost our energy and focus and make us more productive. Busyness has the opposite effect. The more we exert ourselves with a sustained outflow of attention and energy without taking the appropriate amount of time to rest, the more errors we are bound to make.
That doesn't even address the question that when we are too busy, are we still doing what brings us joy, happiness and closer to the changes we seek to make? All too often, it means spending less time with loved ones and having less downtime for ourselves.
Being busy has become the norm. It's now a lifestyle, an identity, and the belief that we get to be and feel accomplished through busyness. It even has a name, the 'cult of busyness.' Being busy has become a status symbol.
It's part of our lives: we live in a complex world, and we're bound to face busy times. We have to balance periods of intensity with periods of recovery; otherwise, we're bound not to finish the race.
I am a human being, not a human doing. – Kurt Vonnegut
We are not machines. As humans, we need to find a way to balance doing with being.
If you've been longing to make a change, shed your busy identity, and become happier by regaining a sense of control but haven't quite figured out how to get there, I'd be delighted to speak with you.
Is busyness something you always live with? If you could, would you have it differently?
Sparknotion – Think Differently.