You are not as busy as you think…


Great blog post by Chris Brogan today titled “You are not as busy as you think…”  (I think he must have been talking to me.)  Top excerpts…

…I had a very interesting conversation with my shrink the other day, where he was calling me out on some of my less-attractive behaviors. He said to me, “Maybe you don’t do those things because you think you’re too busy and too needed elsewhere to do them.”

 If you’re busy, you must be important. If you’re busy, people need you. Humankind’s greatest need: to feel wanted. If you’re busy, you’re not the loser you worry you might be. If you’re busy, maybe you’ll crack the code on what people will pay for faster.

But busy isn’t the same as “fulfilling a purpose” or “walking a path.” Seeking feedback excessively means that you’re not comfortable sitting with your own thoughts, and that you’re not comfortable with the question of whether what you’re creating is of value in your own mind.

…Busy lets us try and not focus on experiences that hurt us or feelings that cause us some suffering. Busy is a fast-moving horse and we can’t really see the individual flower for all the patterns of the field. (This is a mangling of a Chinese proverb.)

…My first steps towards becoming less busy were all very simple and tactical. I set my phone to do the fewest possible notifications. I get a warble when someone texts me. Besides that, I don’t get a notification when email arrives, when someone comments on a social network, or any of those. And guess what? I’m still responsive. I’m still valuable.

…I did the same to my computers. I shut off notifications to as many applications as I could. And then I did one more. I closed my email software. I closed my social network windows. I shut all the windows and applications down on my computer except the one or two that I needed to work on my project at hand. Oh, and I started keeping my projects at hand front and center so that I knew where I should be spending my time.

…HOW BUSY ARE YOU?.  Don’t feel like you have to answer that with me. But ask yourself that question. Are you really overwhelmingly busy? Beyond a few deadlines and maybe some self-inflicted procrastination, how busy are you? And what is that “busy” doing to improve your lifestyle right now, and your business in the coming years?  What if you got some of that time back? What would you do with it? How would you spend an extra four hours a day? Four. Hours. Think about that. That might just well be the cost of busy. Where would you spend yours?



Image Source: Busy Desk


  1. This is an interesting post. Upon reading Brogan’s blog and his move to turn off notifications of digital events, it led me to wonder how much we are programming ourselves to be simply reactive. Add several doses of caffeine, and you get maniacs who never have time to put together a complete thought. I think each of us has to take inventory on how much time we have to concentrate during the day and be stingy about it. Once you have an answer, reset your phone or just turn it off for a few hours a day and condition your friends, colleagues and family that sometimes, you just won’t be available….and it’s ok. Thoughts?


    • Len, LOL on maniac comment. Was that directed at me? I think you suggest a good solution (for friends, colleagues and family). I will say that, at times, it can be challenging in “disconnecting” for periods of time if you are needed by clients, management or members of your team. Today, with work phones, cells and blackberries, very few will give you a pass for a lack of response for more than 1/2 day. There is an expectation that you are always on-grid. Thanks for sharing your thoughts. Dave


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