Who is Busy?

This week has been busy.  The company I work for has a 3/31 year end and seeing how I am a Finance guy there is a lot of stuff happening and trying to get done before that date.  The nice thing is that my company has every other Friday off and this is one of them.  I decided to take this morning to step away from work stuff and slow down.

While I was having my coffee this morning and reading news I ran across an article from earlier this week by Hanna Rosin titled  “Your not as busy as you say you are.”

“The answer to feeling oppressively busy, is to stop telling yourself that you’re oppressively busy, because the truth is that we are all much less busy than we think we are.” – John Robinson

The article referenced a previous article that I had red by Tim Kreider titled “The Busy Trap” which I stumbled on a while back after reading an article that Brad Feld wrote called “Have You Fallen Into The Busy Trap?”  Check all of them out if you have time as each are very interesting but in the end the message is the same that everyone seems to be creating their own sense of busyness.

With two kids (ages 2 and almost 5), both my wife and I working full-time, we are busy.  However, it is true that some things we bring on ourselves and they really shouldn’t be considered the busy part of your life.  Work is busy because it is work and I don’t want to focus on that too much but you are probably working at the job you are for a variety of reasons.  Outside of work the things you do (e.g., volunteering, social gatherings, kids activities) you shouldn’t have the mindset that all of that is making your life too busy.  In fact what you choose to do on the weekends and at nights are optional.

For my wife and I, we understand it is good to have kids involved in things but we don’t want extra activities taking up our kids lives or ours.  So we have allowed them to each sign up for one activity which could either be at nights or on the weekends.  We feel this is important as we don’t want them to be so involved in outside activities that they miss just being a child.  The same thing is true for being an adult, you don’t want to miss out on spending quality time with your family, friends, significant other or maybe having a couple of hours to yourself.  You need to make sure you are not so busy with scheduled events and activities that you can’t just slow down and enjoy the present.

There is some families we know who have their kids in every activity possible which is good for them.  However, I don’t feel bad for them if they tell me they are so busy with work and the kids that they can’t do anything else.  If the parents are saying that how do you think the kids feel?  I mean they are never at their house to play with any of their own toys or just do interesting kids stuff.  I remember as a kid having lots of down time to do whatever I wanted and that was even being in lots of activities as well.

Tim Kreider said it best at the end of his article which I have modified to portray my own thoughts.

“I suppose it’s possible I’ll lie on my deathbed regretting that I didn’t work harder and say everything I had to say, but I think what I’ll really wish is that I could have one more beer with friends, another long talk with my wife April, read one more story to my children, and have one last family gathering.  Life is too short to be busy.”

Now with that said I just called up my brother and am going to meet him for lunch.

Thoughts?

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