01 Mar Is busy necessary? Part 2
Busyness hinders meaningful connection.
How many ways do people have access to you? It can certainly be draining, especially if we feel we have to respond to each and every comment or request. Thanks to a little help from dopamine, a feel-good chemical that makes us want to keep seeking and searching, most of us can think of a time when we’ve been glued to our screens like flies to honey, sifting through countless images, emails, and texts. Perhaps to avoid missing something, an opportunity, or anything that will give us more of what we are searching for.
Busyness perpetuates the myth of multitasking.
We like to think I can do multiple things at once. In fact, it’s pretty much encouraged. The only problem is that doing several things at once really isn’t multitasking. It’s a rapid sequence of tasks that look like multitasking. If I try to pay bills while watching television, my ability to engage in either activity would be limited. Yes, I may think I’m keeping up with what’s on television, but I’m most likely just making inferences based upon what I see because neither activity is getting my full attention.
It’s true we may be able to multitask activities that are relatively easy for us to do but only with those activities that do not require our full attention. Essentially, the more we add to our plate, the more divided our attention will be. When we are overwhelmed with busyness, we sacrifice quality just to get the work done and the results suffer. One solution to this problem is to commit to giving important activities our full attention. Although we may not get as much done as we like, at least we can get some satisfaction in knowing that we engaged more deeply than we would have had we chosen to simply be busy.
Busyness makes you hopelessly productive.
But being productive can be problematic if we are producing things to avoid more difficult, important tasks, or to prove our self-worth to countless others producing at the same or faster rate than we are. That is, we become hopelessly productive, always feeling the need to produce, yet never feeling as productive as we’d like because we keep raising the bar on what is enough. So perhaps instead of striving to produce more, we can try to produce work that is meaningful but unique to us. This way we would be more different than productive and perhaps less preoccupied with what everyone else is doing.
Busyness keeps you stimulated, not satisfied.
We are surrounded by stuff. Our homes and businesses are filled to the brim with it. And we spend a large chunk of time trying to get rid of it. There’s enough stuff to keep us entertained for a lifetime, but there’s a side effect to all this abundance and stuff. The more stuff we have, the less likely we are to value it. Instead, we seem to place more value on novelty and excitement.
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