3 Reasons You're Addicted to Being Busy
Jessie Bush for We the People
Are you a dedicated member of the Cult of Busy? Here's a quick way to tell for sure: When someone you haven't seen in a while asks how you've been, do you reply with some manner of So busy!? When making plans with friends, do you often preface your availability with I’m so busy next week, but...? If any of this sounds familiar, it's high time you accepted it.
But guess what? You aren't alone. So pervasive is this chronic busyness that The New York Times wrote about it a few years back, describing the so-called "trap" of busy as both a "present hysteria" and an "existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness." This is all just to say that being busy is a sort of addiction, and many of us struggle with it.
But why? An article in Inc. examines the reasons so many of us harbor this widespread obsession with scheduling ourselves to the brink of madness. Read on for some common causes.
According to Inc., "our busyness has become an acute measurement of our entrepreneurial worth." Rather than valuing strategy and efficiency, we place great worth on the seeming endless hustle of busy workers. You really see this take root in college, when pulling an all-nighter is considered a badge of honor.
So many of us feel guilty when we take even a much-deserved break. If it isn't guilt, it's a creeping anxiety that we should be doing more. Cramming our schedules full of appointments makes us feel productive, even if we could be doing less and preventing that inevitable burnout.
If you're constantly running around from meeting to meeting, it's easier to ignore other important things that require (but perhaps do not demand) our attention. Being busy also creates a buttress against that feared state of silence. But here's the truth: A little quiet time is actually great for our productivity, improving memory and awareness significantly. So embrace the sound of silence every once in a while!
Are you addicted to being busy? Tell us below.