The Business of Being Busy: How Being Busy Has Become A Status Symbol

How many of you have ever found yourself in this scenario:

Friend: How are things going?
Self: Oh, pretty good, BUSY! How are you? [While sitting on the couch trolling Facebook on your phone]

Here's the thing. I'm a pretty legitimately busy person (right now). I may sleep late, but my work schedule is wacky and my job is very physically demanding. I put in a lot of hours outside the gym doing things for my job just because I love it THAT much. Between blogging, keeping up with my own athletic schedule, and coaching, I probably am putting in 12-hour days pretty regularly. But, if you think about it….it's not like I'm sleeping the other 12 hours. I have a few hours a day where I'm just….chillin'. Usually texting my friends, trolling Instagram (my faaaavorite), hanging out with my husband, adulting….you know, whatevering around. So why is it that we feel the compunction to say "SOOOO BUSY!" when our friends text us?

I've totally found myself in the above situation, and I don't quite understand how being busy has become a status symbol. Is it because others will see you as more highly valued, and more highly demanded, because you are busy? Or is it because others will see you as having a higher work ethic if you're busy? Maybe others will see you as more goal-oriented, or your life as more exciting and fast-paced, if you're busy.

The 'status' of being busy is an American phenomenon (this article covers this issue in more depth). In other countries and parts of the world, being overly busy - or being perceived as overly busy - is actually seen negatively, as the person appears to lack control over their own lives, and to have poor time-management skills. There is real danger in being too busy (and I myself need to remember this, pretty much every day, when I am Instagramming, emailing and Facebooking for our team at 11:30pm, in my bed, on my phone, in the dark). Work overload leads to burnout, takes your attention away from important tasks and decreases your focus on social support, which in turn reinforces said burnout.

Find a balance. Create a schedule. Schedule in time to meditate, or use meditation as a transitional exercise between work and home. Get home from work, put way your electronic devices, and take a walk to transition to your relaxing, at-home, after-work time. Disconnect your email from your phone. Get more sleep. Spend more time with your loved ones. Eat good food. Talk about deep, and important, life-affirming topics with people you care about. It's okay to not be busy. The work will be there tomorrow, you can take the time tonight to disconnect.

3 comments:

  1. Found you via Blog Love! I think also being "busy" can be a way of avoiding the hard work of relationships. I mean, everyone has a "busy" time (especially when one is ill and going to the doc all the time) but I mean generally.

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  2. Yes agreed!
    I definitely feel being busy, but if you schedule things properly usually you can get most everything done.


    xoxo, Jenny || Breakfast at Lillys

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  3. Nice article, your post is very interesting, thank you

    arron
    Name Stylish

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