Note that this blog post was originally written as a guest post for Brittany’s blog, and the link can be found here.
In a world that works at 100mph, it’s impossible to avoid the feeling of being very busy. In this blog I will talk about what causes this feeling and if it is simply the norm in modern society.
Being busy often occurs when we have a lot of external stimuli that requires our attention, draining us of our internal energy as a result. Perhaps we are facing demands left right and centre, from work, from friends, from family etc. Sometimes we lose our sense of balance, especially with work/home life. In my opinion, I think that this has become increasingly challenging over the last 2 years with the pandemic and remote working.
However, being busy isn’t always out of our control. Sometimes we may subconsciously fall into its trap for our own benefit – to distract ourselves. And sometimes this isn’t really a benefit at all. We may avoid big changes in our lives and the emotions that occur alongside it by papering over the cracks with social events, longer working hours and more. Difficult emotions can make us feel busy in the mind, even if there is nothing going on around us physically. This can make a situation increasingly overwhelming.
What we have to ask ourselves is: is this avoidable? As much as we would like to think that it is always avoidable, sometimes you will genuinely have lots of things to do which are all important. For example, you may be studying for a professional qualification at work, and you have to balance a full time job with studying, as well as family and social commitments at the same time. In this scenario, you will inevitably find yourself being very busy trying to juggle several important things at once, and it is not easy to just drop a commitment to free up your schedule. If everything you have to juggle is important then it is good to be busy, and sometimes it is necessary to just plough through these busy periods. In these situations, rather than avoiding the busy period, it is more important to implement strategies so that you don’t get overwhelmed, such as being realistic with our scheduling.
A lot of people say that they are very busy. This raises the question whether being busy is now the norm. However, it’s important to note that not everyone that says that they are busy are genuinely busy, and the reason for being busy may not always align with the life they want for themselves. People may be busy for the wrong reasons, such as trying to please others or to distract themselves from the challenges life is presenting them. Sometimes, people wear their busyness as a badge of honour. This can lead them to falling into the trap of thinking that the more busy they are, the more productive they are. However, more often or not this is a sign of toxic productivity and people presenting a false version of themselves.
Talking about my own personal experiences, I consider myself to have a fairly busy schedule. I have a full-time job, and I commute to the office on most days. Furthermore, I also have social as well as other commitments outside of work which take up time and energy. This keeps me busy, and is good in the sense that I don’t get bored. However, there are times where different aspects of my life are very busy at the same time. This does get overwhelming sometimes and I don’t always enjoy it. I used to consider my busy schedule as a badge of honor, but now I realize that busy schedules aren’t always good for my wellbeing.