Busy doing nothing?


We are all busy these days – how often do you feel that you don’t have enough time?  Rushing from one thing to another, demands of children on school holidays; arranging things at work; catching up on that boxset of Killing Eve – the demands on our time are endless.

In the words of Bing Crosby from 1949, are you guilty of being “busy doing nothing, working the whole day through”?

Being busy should be celebrated though – whether personally or professionally, having a focus on your time and efforts is great. Who wants to wallow around with little or nothing to stimulate or interest them? So often though the word is used in a negative framework.

The dictionary definition is:- diligent, industrious imply active or earnest effort to accomplish something, or a habitual attitude of such earnestness.

There are those that use the “busy” phrase to avoid adding to their workload as in “I’m too busy, sorry”; or just to impress others with how vital they are to the business or project. I have worked with some people who advocate they fill their days with diligently doing “stuff” and spend the rest of their time telling you all about how busy they are!

It is fair to say that no one starts their day with the intention of wasting time – it is a precious resource and one that we cannot get back.  So using it wisely and ensuring that we are busy doing the right things (as effectively as possible), makes sense.  Some advocate the use of “to do” lists as a means to monitor their input and output.  For others this is just means to get frustrated at one other thing to think about when you’re busy!

We should all thrive on having our days filled with different tasks and opportunities – even those that require you to sit still for 10 minutes doing nothing in order to gain an opportunity to refocus and reflect, is a balance of time well spent.

Perhaps the next time you use the words “I’m busy” think of an alternative phrase that describes what you’re doing, even if that describes sitting with the kids playing a game – it’s time well spent but celebrate it with a vibrant and descriptive alternative.


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