Stop Romanticizing Busy

Last week I shared this post from Rachel Cargle and it was such a hot topic that I wanted to give it more space.

Busy has become a status symbol, a romanticized notion and a staple in our conversations. We are busy, our kids are busy, work is busy, home is busy…and what are we getting from all of it? Why are we so intent on being busy all of the time and filling every second of time with tasks and activities?

I think we’re lonely.

I think that one of the biggest challenges in the world right now is that we’re surrounded by people all of the time. We’re constantly going from thing to thing yet we’re desperately lonely.

Busy may start as a way to combat that loneliness (join an activity or group to meet new people) but it ends up doing the exact opposite. We make ourselves so busy that we don’t have time for true connection.

Busy also makes us feel like part of the crowd. Everyone is always talking about how busy they are, so you might as well join them. There’s perceived acceptance when we can knowingly nod and laugh in agreement.

For some of us, it’s so uncomfortable to say “no” that we end up horrendously busy because we agree to do everything anyone asks us to do.

Busy is also a great distraction. If something in life doesn’t feel right (work, home, relationships), staying busy is a great way to avoid thinking about that situation and feeling uncomfortable.

But where is it getting us?

We’re still lonely, we’re still exhausted, we’re still stressed to the point of making ourselves sick. It doesn’t have to be this way. What if you revolted against the cult of busy? What if you decided to obliterate the word from your vocabulary and the concept from your life? What if instead of focusing on all of the going, doing and busy-ness, you took time to focus on connection, joy and kindness?

Whether you’re busy for one of the reasons here or something else entirely, I invite you to take a look at it. Are the things that you’re busying yourself with really filling you up? Are they bringing you joy? Do you feel strong connections? If any of these answers is no, now’s the time to stop romanticizing busy.

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