Too Busy to Be: The Struggle to Find Happiness in Busyness

Busy LifeWe live in a 24/7 world. A seemingly limitless number of to-dos and mindless distractions are almost always within reach whenever, wherever. From extended work hours, to near bombardment of social media, or the Netflix content vacuum, one can easily find themselves overwhelmed with a plethora of distractions. Due often to feelings of confinement and lack of control over seemingly never-ending to-do lists, people naturally insulate themselves from pursuing personal goals, having structured leisure time, and building or maintaining relationships with friends and family, under the guise that they are simply too busy.

Indeed, society is preoccupied with the concept of being busy. Have often have you told yourself, or been told by someone else, that you are too busy to go to the gym, sign up for an interesting event, attend an old friend’s birthday, or engage in civic life? “I’m busy” has become a near default response when asked how we are doing, or an excuse for not doing something that interests us.

The Problem of Busyness

Many media outlets have reported on this topic of busyness of the past couple of years. Tyler Ward, a US writer, motivator and entrepreneur, wrote a succinct, compelling article: “Busy isn’t respectable anymore.” Tyler argues that always being busy is not a virtue, nor is it something to respect anymore, for the following reasons:

  1. It can be a sign of an inability to manage our lives
  2. It can be indicative of a lack of confidence and self-worth
  3. Busyness restricts professional performance and limits mental capacity
  4. Busy often keeps us from the finer things in life

Busyness Challenge

Tyler’s arguments stuck with me. So I accepted his challenge to consciously avoid using “I’m too busy” as an excuse in my personal life. I would either commit to something or not, depending on my level of interest. If I committed, I would find a way to make it happen, and look forward to the event. If deep down I was not interested in doing something, and knew I would not find the motivation to participate, I would admit this upfront honestly and openly rather than cancelling last minute out of busyness.

Busyness Challenge Results

The result of this experiment thus far? Due to a commitment to planning, and acknowledgement of what is truly important personally, I arranged to see out-of-town friends and family more consistently. I pursued volunteer and civic engagement opportunities that matter to me. I ceased putting off necessary household chores indefinitely. Consciously acknowledging that time is a valuable and limited resource, I admitted to myself which activities I had been engaging in that did not deliver the rewards or the benefits I was seeking. This allowed me to let go of frivolous commitments that were consuming time and energy yet delivering little personal value. In the end, deciding not to be too busy for the things I deemed important was refreshing. Tyler’s article on busyness put me in a much more conscious state of mind, where I now actively allocate my time to ensure I am not too busy to do what is personally important.

Busy People Can Leverage Government Funding

As a Team Lead at Mentor Works, I work with a multitude of business owners who commit to pursuing Canadian government funding, despite their multitude of priorities and obligations. Certainly, Mentor Works simplifies the application process, however business owners must nevertheless invest their own time in the process as well. Government funding does require time, but when business owners prioritize it to support their cash flow or reduce borrowing levels, they do not regret it. The first step is making a conscious commitment to pursue funding, and sticking with it, despite already full schedules and competing priorities. If you need some help prioritizing funding, let us know. We’re here to help.

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