Busyness: The False Badge of Honor



As is often the case, I am writing about a topic that I have yet to fully master.  “Busyness” carries with it the connotation of importance in our society.  Nearly every day in response to the question, “How are things going?”, I will hear , “I am so busy.”  (I am definitely guilty of this from time to time but have really tried to work on it).

You must resist the temptation to believe that being busy means that you are productive and successful.  Busyness is often a recipe for mediocrity.

Being “busy” can make us feel important, especially when we are able to share our plight with others.  Sharing with others the fact that we are busy can often be very prideful.  We are trying to show that we are so successful that we have become this busy.  However, rarely do we dig deep enough to find out what we are truly spending our time on.  Our lives can easily be filled with useless actions and work that do not serve you or others in the greatest way possible.  Do not fool yourself into thinking that everything that you are doing is highly important or a good use of your time.

Continuous busyness is evidence of poor planning and prioritization.  It is very easy to be busy.  It is much harder to be productive.

To be sure, there are seasons, and short periods of time when the amount that we need to get done is increased.  However, this should always be short-lived. Busyness should never be the goal.  Busy seasons should be times of learning.  You should look for efficiencies, ways to be more productive, and learn more about the priorities of your life so that you will never experience this same type of busy season in the future.

There is one person to blame for your busyness…you.

Ultimately, if you are consistently more busy than you would like to be, you only have yourself to blame.  Learning to not blame external forces for a life of chaos is the most important part of gaining control of your time.  Saying “no” to things that do not fit the life you want to live is a difficult and precious skill.  Guard yourself against anything that takes you away from the most important things in your life.

Life is too short to waste your days proving to yourself and others that you are important and successful because your are busy.

The true badge of honor is having margin, extra time in your day and life, for the unexpected opportunities that present themselves.

You must plan and prioritize diligently to create margin in your life.  Having this extra time allows you the clarity and space to pursue new and greater opportunities that you would have been oblivious to in your chaotic state of busyness.

Defend the margin in your life diligently.  The distraction of a life full of meaningless, never-ending tasks will ensure that you miss out on incredible ways to grow and serve others.

With love,