“Simplifying the externals allows us to cultivate a rich inner and outer life. A cluttered existence may keep us busy, but busyness doesn’t mean that we are fully engaged in what we are going. Usually, just the opposite, we feel busy because we are neurotically active at things that don’t matter much in the long run. It does little good to be successful in a business that requires sixty hours of work a week, while the simple pleasures of home life are neglected. A complicated person can simplify life and in that simplicity find a sharp articulation of values. Complicated lives often do the opposite: they show to what extent the person is lost in the busyness of the world.” ~ Thomas Moore, Original Self
Stop Being Busy and Start Being Productive. It’s the Meaningful Work – Not the Busywork – That Counts.
In a world of infinite information and endless distractions it’s incredibly easy to invest time in ways that aren’t productive or meaningful for our lives.
We get caught up checking our Facebooks for notifications, our Twitters for Tweets, our e-mails for more e-mails… We scroll through Tumblr and Pinterest for pictures and content on walls that never end… Heck! Every social media network now has walls of updates that never end!
If we wanted to, we could stay ‘busy‘ all day and get no meaningful work done.
Moreover, because busywork is more prominent now than ever before, we could also never be done with our work if we wanted.
Seth Godin elaborates: “Before, when your shift was done, you were finished. When the in-box was empty, when the forms were processed, you could stop. Now, of course, there’s always one more tweet to make, one more post to write, one more words with friends move to complete. There’s one more e-mail message you can write, one more lens you can construct, one more comment you can respond to. If you want to, you can be never finished.”
I’m afraid to admit that, before I worked up the willpower to open up this page and start writing this blog post, I spent around 25 minutes procrastinating and doing busywork myself…
I interacted with my Facebook timeline for 10 minutes, opened up my e-mail for a quick glance and acted busy for about 10 minutes there, then went back to Facebook for another 5 minute scroll, and finally opened up this post.
…What’s scary is that this is not uncommon for me and that I easily could have continued scrolling, delaying, and doing busywork for much longer, and would have likely stayed just as entertained throughout. Continue reading
“Often we’re rushing to get somewhere, trying to make progress towards a goal, moving, moving. But where are we going? Will we be happier when we get there? Is that place better than where we already are? I’ve found that no, it’s not any better. Where we already are is just as great. This moment is just as good as wherever we’re rushing off to. We’ve already arrived. So I smile, and appreciate the moment, and this makes the current task not a stepping stone to something better, but something great in and of itself.” ~ Leo Babauta, Zen Habits
“If we would just slow down, happiness would catch up to us.” ~ Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
“The first step in becoming a more peaceful person is to have the humility to admit that, in most cases, you’re creating your own emergencies. Life will usually go on if things don’t go according to plan.” ~ Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
“Much of our anxiety and inner struggle stems from our busy, overactive minds always needing something to entertain them, something to focus on, and always wondering, ‘what’s next?'” ~ Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
“We live our lives as if they were one big emergency! We often rush around looking busy, trying to solve problems, but in reality, we are often compounding them.” ~ Richard Carlson, Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff
“It’s not enough to be busy; so are the ants. The question is: what are we busy about?” ~ Henry David Thoreau
“Often he who does too much does too little.” ~ Italian Proverb
“If you want something done, ask a busy person to do it. The more things you do, the more you can do.” ~ Lucille Ball
“Time is a created thing. To say ‘I don’t have time,’ is like saying, ‘I don’t want to.’” ~ Lao Tzu