Busy people look desperate.
Like they’ve seen a ghost. Like they’re on the edge. I’m scared of desperately busy people.
I became too busy too.
My boss would always give me more work than I could handle. There was never enough time to do it all, so a lot of balls just got dropped. I stopped caring after a while. A notoriously busy leader comes to mind.
He was the office stud.
A lot of co-workers I know had a crush on him. The gay guys wanted to ride him like a pony (so they told me).
The single female admirers had more of a subdued approach and wanted to take him out for a nice dinner and look at his gorgeous blue eyes for two hours over red wine.
My interest in him was his charisma. The guy had quiet confidence. I craved it.
The problem was you could never get much time with him. He was always in a hurry. It made me feel like he didn’t like me even though I’m sure he did.
He’d race from one customer meeting to the next. He’d do all the paperwork after hours to ensure he didn’t waste a single moment to hang out with customers and sell them finance products.
Instead of going to see his kids play sport he’d drive to the office and work.
One morning I came to work. Something didn’t look right.
“Are you okay, man?” I said.
“Yep, just a rough night.”
Two weeks later my gossiping colleague told me that his wife left him and took the two kids. She was tired of him always being busy.
Honestly, there was a gentle scream in the office. His admirers saw it as a prime opportunity to make their bedroom fantasies become a reality.
He was broken though. He’s still broken. Last I saw he went backwards in his career, put on 50 pounds, lost most of his hair, and aged terribly.
The sexy confidence is gone. It’s got replaced by a ghost of a human.
“Working hard is a cover up for ‘I am so insecure’”
She goes on to say that “busy people are desperate to prove to people who don’t give a sh*t about them that they’re worthy, smart, and capable.”
Seeking people’s approval is poverty. It makes you a prisoner. It means you don’t have freedom. What you have, instead, are the chains of external validation that limit your potential.
I was that insecure person as a 20-something-year-old.
I had no confidence because I was dealing with mental illness. How did I fix it? Well, eventually I solved the source of my insecurity and got the help of a psychologist.
All busyness did was cover up my problems, not fix them. Once you do the work to fix your biggest problems confidence returns.
Confidence comes from taking action, not avoiding the truth.
What busy people secretly avoid
Busy people have no time to sit and be alone with their thoughts. They live in the rainbow promised land of tomorrow.
To be alone is to welcome in the evil thoughts. But when you’re busy you can avoid thinking. All the bad stuff is pushed to the back of the head.
That makes being busy bloody addictive.
Busy can take away pain, although not forever. At some point one has to deal with their pain or be consumed by it.
Busy, to many people, is their form of TikTok. It’s a distraction from reality.
Busy is a metaverse in their head they can escape to for free when they don’t want to feel or deal with the discomfort.
All of humanity’s problems stem from our inability to sit quietly in a room alone — Blaise Pascal
Busy people are stupid
Harsh, but hear me out.
If you learn how to work smarter by saying no, avoiding distractions, and focusing on the real priorities then you won’t need to be busy.
Busyness is a stupid way to work. It’s the slow route that leads to donkey work.
You could say it’s arrogance too. There are smarter ways to do things. If you avoid finding another way not to be so busy, chances are you’re either not coachable or are a know-it-all Eddie Expert.
Busyness is the worst form of selfishness
Think about my stud colleague.
His family desperately wanted him. Yet he robbed his wife of a happy marriage and his kids of the chance to spend their childhood with their father. If that’s not selfishness, I don’t know what is.
Don’t be a selfish a-hole. Love isn’t busyness.
Give your time to those who deserve it.
The greatest time tool I’ve ever come across
We fall into the busyness trap because of how we view time in our mind. Think of your life like this diagram.
Busyness is taking the jug of water that is your resources and over-pouring it into one area of life. The cup then overflows and pisses all over the floor. This leaves all other areas of life in a drought.
A job or business is only one cup in life.
To live the good life that is a balanced life, you’ve got to spread your resources across multiple areas. Otherwise, work gets amplified by your busyness while chaos happens in other areas.
Busyness may be an accident
If you’re always busy, I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt by saying it’s possible you keep thinking there’s enough time when there isn’t.
Become a time pessimist.
Think the worst about how much time everything will take. Assume people want to waste your time because they don’t value theirs.
Expect tasks to take three times as long, then schedule less.
It all boils down to this
The currency of life isn’t money, it’s time.
If you have no time then you’re living in desperate poverty. You’re bankrupt, broke as a joke.
Win your time back. Stop wearing busyness as a wartime badge of honor. Nobody gives a damn how much you work.
So many divorces would never happen if busyness wasn’t an epidemic.