Letting go of Busy
Using the magic of SaneBox this link/article on “The Cult of Busy” comes up in my inbox every year on Nov 14. I had just turned 45 when I first read it in 2014, and I realized for as long as I could remember I was proud of always being busy. The busier I was the better I felt about my chances of success, my relevance, all of that. Today, 9 years later, I’m intentionally less busy. Sometimes it makes me feel like I’m doing something wrong. Perhaps even that I’m lazy or unmotivated (ok, I am sometimes ). But then this article pops up and I’m reminded where I really want to be and that in fact I’ve made real progress.
I just left the annual #RFDC conference in Vegas. I hate Vegas (probably because I used to love it too much). I landed with a big bad attitude about being there. I had meetings lined up but had left holes in my schedule as I always do now. Yet, everywhere I went most people I saw were “back-to-back”, “slammed”, cramming it all in. I wondered briefly why I wasn’t back to back. The internal narrative – full of self-doubt – headed down the wrong path for a bit.
In the end, it turned out I, too, was back-to-back but with meetings and encounters I chose that could extend longer than the prescribed 30 minutes and in some cases being able to double dip with people I really enjoy engaging with – some who I just met, others I’ve known for a few years, and a surprising number I’ve experienced a few cycles with for 20+ years. Leaving intentional gaps in my schedule made that possible.
The older I get, the more I agree with the author’s statement “It’s time to end the glorification of busy.” Looking back it really was insanity. As I was leaving the conference today an old friend remarked, “you look really relaxed.” He did, too, actually. And I was relaxed. In Vegas. At a finance conference. That could never have happened 10 years ago. This article among other things (sober for 1,442 days, for example!) helps that process of letting go of habits that did not serve me – and likely a number of you – all that well.