In designing the next session of a leadership workshop I’m facilitating, I came across this quote, from Tim Ferriss:
“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action.”
Ouch. Tim’s not pulling any punches there, is he?
When’s the last time you caught yourself telling someone you were busy? Or wearing your busy-ness as a badge of honor?
A lot of us struggle to break the reactive/busy habit because of the underlying, virtuous beliefs we hold about what it means to be busy. We might not like being busy, but we’re unlikely to change if we believe:
- Doing it all = I am driven.
- Doing it all = I am competent.
- Doing it all = I am effective.
I like Tim’s – somewhat harsh – quote because it provides a reframe that might be helpful if you want to break the busy cycle. Instead of viewing busy-ness as a virtue, what if:
- Doing it all = I am a lazy thinker?
- Doing it all = I am incapable of prioritizing?
- Doing it all = I am afraid of establishing boundaries?
- Doing it all = I am avoiding the things that really matter?
Because our habits and behaviors are usually the result of our thoughts and our mindsets, if we believe busy-ness is a positive, virtuous thing, then no matter how much we claim we don’t want to be busy, we’re unlikely to change our behaviors.
If, however, we start to let a bit of light in and see that busy-ness isn’t entirely positive and may – in fact – bring a lot of negative baggage to the party, THEN we might be more willing to examine our behavior and start making some changes.
So, tell me: just how busy ARE you?!