Busy vs Productive

While corporate culture aggrandizes workaholism, research shows being a workaholic is not correlated to high performance. 

Workaholicism is a disease— not a badge of honor. 

Many of us who aren’t full-blown workaholics are still pretty addicted to being busy—or at least a little terrified of NOT being busy. We associate being busy with being worthy and safe. 

But, the definition of busy is “to be occupied.” Being busy is hardly the badge of honor most of us make it into. 

Which one of us wants our tombstones to read “They were occupied”?

Henry David Thoreau famously wrote,  “It’s not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is, what are we busy about?”

A lot of folks confuse busy with productive.

When we’re productive, we’re producing something—we’re not just occupied. I think we’re MOST satisfied when we’re producing something that matters to us. Because, as you remember, I define success as achieving what matters to you

Just being busy is a way lots keep our stress alive and kicking. It’s the hamster on the wheel that keeps our stress engine revved. Being busy for the sake of being busy contributes to overworking. 

Most of my clients understand that overworking will burn you out.

“But, how do you know if you’re overworking?” Stacy asked. The best answer I’ve heard to this is you know you’re overworking when you’re beyond the capacity to live a balanced life. 

Having an overbearing boss, or a job where you have little say in what you do and high pressure to do it, overworking (full-blown workaholism or chronic overworking), or being addicted to being busy can cause burnout. 

So can highly pressurizing circumstances (the 2020 pandemic, anyone?) 

That’s why it’s important to slow down and take a little time every week to map out the next week asking yourself “What do I want to produce or create this week?” 

“What matters to me this week?”

That intentionality goes a long way toward keeping us producing the good stuff—instead of just occupying ourselves to death.

Feel like you never have enough time?

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