The Busy Trap

Business is one of the easiest places to fall into the trap of ‘busy.’ Business. Busy-ness? Staying busy can have the effect of making one look both productive and important. But its root cause can often be poor time management and an inflated sense of self worth. The industry I’m in is populated with busy people. Recently, I took a real step back to review that busy mentality and I wasn’t too pleased with what I saw, yes it was me looking back – at me. In an effort to ‘get it all done’ I had seriously fallen into the trap of being too ‘busy.’ And to be honest, I haven’t pulled myself out of that deep, dark hole. Why not? It’s not easy to de-busy yourself. And it might even be a bit addictive. In fact, I think it is.

There are actually very good reasons these days for an amplification of activity. Technology, that thing that was supposed to make our lives easier has, in fact, probably made everything a bit more complicated. And for those of us in the communications field, it has made our workday just that much longer. Clients know they can reach you whenever they want. And so they do, reach out, whenever they want. Technology has made it possible to work virtually, which basically means we’re always on call, and on all kinds of time zones. Right now I have clients in New York, Los Angeles, Paris and Sydney. Imagine the time zone juggle with that lot.

Downsizing has also added to the increase in our workload, making us busier. We work with journalists and that industry has been decimated. Less of them means there is more work for us, as we try to package stories that will take less time for them to produce. And our client’s workforces have shrunk, which means agency partners are picking up the slack. It is an interesting cycle and personally I am not sure where it will all end. Robots maybe? I’m just not certain we’re set up for this pace. And I don’t see it slowing down.

Here’s the thing: 

A busy life probably isn’t going anywhere. Retirement? What’s that? If we’re going to do something worth doing chances are it is going to require a lot of our time. So, with that in mind chose the thing you do well, it’s going to demand a lot of you. And don’t let money be the gauge of your choice. Go with passion, something that helps you jump out of bed in the morning. Oh, and if you figure out how to slow down without losing the plot please let me know. I could use the tips!