I wish I had a conclusion to this post, but I’m really just jotting down some thoughts on the idea of busyness as a means of putting those thoughts to paper (screen, but whatever). I’m also trying to bounce those thoughts off you, so if you have some feedback, I’d love to hear it. But busyness is a curious thing, said the man too “busy” to blog regularly. What really is busyness? Is it a fate inevitable in the current age? Is it a side effect of a life being squeezed of every last drop of enjoyment and effectiveness like the juice of a ripe orange? Or could it be the opposite? Okay, I think it’s two things: a distraction filled lifestyle and an unwillingness to focus, borne of the fear of missing out.
What if we’re, I’m, so busy because of all the distractions we’re afforded today?
Busyness is just distraction
What if we’re, I’m, so busy because of all the distractions we’re afforded today? I mean, we’ve never had more at our fingertips than today. Is there too much at our beck and call? Is junk food stimuli so pervasive to the point that we’re too busy hanging on every last status update, post, and tweet to unclutter our day to day schedules?
Busyness can’t be so simple
Surely, this can’t be true. Right? This just is too simple. There has to be more to it. There has to be something to it, as this theory just lacks substance. Plus, a problem so elementary would have been solved long ago by people much smarter or at the least more motivated than myself. No, busyness is not just a plethora of distractions.
I have a pretty strong sense of what I do and don’t want to do, but what often trumps this preference is my fear of missing out.
Busyness and missing out
I have a pretty strong sense of what I do and don’t want to do, but what often trumps this preference is my fear of missing out. As a result, I find myself doing things or committing to engagements about which I couldn’t much care less. However, if I didn’t commit, then this friend or group of friends would have the time of their lives without me and I would once again be left outside of the best inside jokes I’ve never heard. You see the ridiculousness of my train of thinking. What’s more ridiculous are the implications of this lifestyle. Rather than allowing myself to balance my social life with my solitary life (this will look different for each, but there is a balance to be reached), I will over commit myself to social engagements, leaving me at a deficit of time to check in with myself. Here comes the real problem, though.
I feel a correlation between the times I am most “busy” with the times I feel least approaching any goal or destination.
Busyness leads to listlessness
Maybe I’m oversimplifying — as I often do — here, but I feel a correlation between the times I am most “busy” with the times I feel least approaching any goal or destination. What seems to make sense with this correlation is that I make myself busy because I’m afraid of committing to one goal, thus opening myself up to missing out, or even worse, failure! Gasp! (No, this is not the guess I’d made in the opening paragraph, but I did warn you I was kicking the tires on my original thesis) I’ve gotten goosebumps as I’ve read over the first part of this paragraph; I know I’m on to something. What if busyness isn’t the problem, but an indicator, more like a facilitator, of the true problem. I’m scared out of my mind at the thought of failing, because I know I’ll look bad in front of people…well, people I don’t want to look bad in front of. And it doesn’t help that that fear is merely slathered all over the heaping concern of missing out. Ugh, what a mess.
It’s not that I’m going to make a list of things I will never do again…but I really do need to be more mindful of things that matter to me and that might also have some importance in a broader context.
Where to go from busyness
I think the antithesis of busyness is focus, or (a word I’ve heard a lot recently) prioritization. It’s not that I’m going to make a list of things I will never do again (resisting How I Met Your Mother reference), but I really do need to be more mindful of things that matter to me and that might also have some importance in a broader context. If I really enjoy cooking and believe my faith would also encourage cooking as an act of service for others, then I need to place a higher importance on that in my schedule than watching the latest episode of Real Housewives of [Wherever]. I can’t do everything, let alone everything well. I’ve been created to miss out on events, a lot of them. But I’ve also been created to be good, even really good, at a thing or two and create some really good memories doing those things. I’ve been created to fail and to succeed. And I’m confident those successes, given a little focus, will outweigh the failures in the end. In fact, those failures will merely be the price of admission to getting a front row seat to what God is doing through it all. I suppose what I’m getting at is that the cure for this busyness plague as I’m going to call it is a reliance on what God can, will, and is doing through my life.
What do you think about busyness? Do you find yourself struggling with it yourself? Do you think busyness not to be a bad thing? I realize now I should have defined busyness at the beginning, so pardon me and feel free to help me out with that definition. Is busyness the problem? Or is busyness just a symptom? I know that regardless of the real problem here, I could use a strong dose of focus, and an even greater serving of submitting to God right about now. Would that really solve the problem, whatever you deem it is, friend? What do you think?