Being ‘busy’ is a phenomenon so common and widespread that we might call it pandemic. Only very few are unaffected by it. Kim Kreider has written a wonderful article (here) about it. He combines a short analyses with an extended description on how he is trying to dodge The ‘Busy’ Trap.
He argues that the best part of our daily busyness and stress is self-inflicted. So who is (or thinks of himself or herself) busy and why?
It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.
Is it that we keep ourselves busy just to avoid facing up to the possibility that our lives are actually empty and meaningless?
Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.
Isn’t that silly? If we need to schedule in time for family and friends, time to read or just time to be idle we know we have gone too far. Time to come back!
Recommended: The ‘Busy’ Trap – NYTimes.com.