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Busy-ness

One of my friends and I have an ongoing discussion about how people who go on at length about how they're "busy" turn us off.

For my pal, as a stay at home mom, she always felt other parents would try to rub it in that they were superior to her because they were juggling a career and a household (and implicitly that she wasn't). She also felt like "I'm so busy" was a ready way for them to say, "I don't value this activity enough to make time for it," instead of just being direct enough to say it.

For me, I'm reminded of my nemesis at my old day job. At the first hint of any sort of pressure or deadline, she'd start striding around the building declaring how "busy" she was. And I'd always think, "Sheesh, if you're so damn busy, why aren't you behind your desk...working." I guess for me, the whole "I'm busy" melodrama seemed to be about playing the victim. I also always felt like those of us who quietly met our deadlines never got any credit for sustained productivity, while the hand-wringers were always coddled and bolstered.

Hooray. I work for myself now. I am thankful all day, every day, that I'm no longer part of that drama.

Mainly I wanted to link to this blog post about reframing busy-ness by Marie Josee Shaar, who I think is super practical, wise, and not at all melodramatic. Her blog and book are about balancing nutrition, exercise and sleep.

Busy, but not rushed at Smarts and Stamina

Comments

( 13 comments — Leave a comment )
(Anonymous)
Sep. 29th, 2011 10:07 pm (UTC)
It's really nice to work for oneself! And I couldn't agree more about the comment regarding people using "i'm so busy" as an excuse. Having done the work-go-to-college-single mom thing I still found time to be incredibly involved. When I finally was able to stop working for someone else I was accused of having an easy life full of free time. Yeah, free time that's when I quilt for the homeless at 3am foregoing sleep. Sheesh!
jordan_c_price
Sep. 29th, 2011 11:34 pm (UTC)
Another common excuse is "I can't afford it." I think when we truly value something, we find a way to make it happen, both time-wise and money-wise.

It's not evil to say these things, of course. Just doesn't feel genuine.
egret17
Sep. 29th, 2011 10:36 pm (UTC)
Two of my hobbies, reading and knitting, draw those "I just don't have time to do THAT" comments... and I think your friend is spot on about that being a way for people to say they really don't value those activities.
jordan_c_price
Sep. 29th, 2011 11:32 pm (UTC)
No doubt there's a nicer way to say you don't value an activity...let's say someone was pestering me about keeping my yard nicer. I might say, "Oh, if I had more free time, I'd probably rather read," or whatever activity I value more than having a spotless yard.

I used to teach writing locally, and these stay-at-home moms who thought they wanted to write would always come hang around me at my day job and complain about not having time to write (although their kids were at school and their husbands were willing to provide 100% of the family income, and in one case, a house-cleaner!)

And there I was, working my job, teaching writing on the side, and getting novels published myself. I really wanted to scream sometimes, listening to them whine about not getting around to writing.

I think I just can't reiterate how thankful I am to do this for a living now!!!
jordan_c_price
Sep. 29th, 2011 11:39 pm (UTC)
I've been assigning myself 20 pgs per day of reading to try to actually finish some books, because I can get carried away and keep working on and on. So far so good. I've finished a few books.
(Deleted comment)
jordan_c_price
Sep. 30th, 2011 12:23 pm (UTC)
I'm glad you got something out of it! I totally agree about balance and even now that I have more time, I struggle to find balance between work and play, between the things I want to do (work/write) and the things I should do (dull chores).
krondr
Sep. 30th, 2011 12:58 pm (UTC)

I like being busy. Especially at work, much better than being bored. I have a colleague who sits across the partition from me, who sounds like your old nemesis. Me, if there's a deadline I'd rather get on with it, instead of being a drama queen about it.

At this stage of my life, I don't have any obligations other than my own - no kids, no dependent family, no second job, etc. So actually, being busy doing things I wAnt to do (hobbies, going out, working out) is kind of a luxury, is it not, so why would I whinge about it? :D

I do realize there is a fine line between busy and rushed, it's definitely something one needs to find the balance of.

jordan_c_price
Sep. 30th, 2011 01:37 pm (UTC)
Busy is a funny word that way, isn't it? It could be positive or negative. I always liked being busy at work, too. To me, it meant I was highly engaged in my tasks and I was being productive.

I'm sitting with the thought of being busy with things we like as a luxury. It's very ponderable!
josephine_myles
Sep. 30th, 2011 08:47 pm (UTC)
I'm happy to keep busy on my own terms, but using it as an excuse and harping on about it is really offputting, I agree. Those who are truly busy don't really have time to sit around complaining, do they? Not when they could be getting on with doing things - hopefully enjoyable, challenging and rewarding things.

I think that's the key - being busy with things you enjoy. That's a wonderful feeling :)
jordan_c_price
Oct. 1st, 2011 12:00 am (UTC)
Busy doing things you enjoy sounds really fun! Maybe "too busy" is the key. "Too busy" to do something you'd rather not do being a kind of cop-out.
marasmine
Sep. 30th, 2011 10:30 pm (UTC)
I always used to get stuck with doing the work the 'too busy' person didn't get around to as well as my own - and it drove me crazy when I was rushing to juggle all the priorities and they were still standing around telling everyone they could find just how busy they were. If they just stopped whining and got on with things... grrr.

I didn't mind helping out when someone was truly overwhelmed or in a position where they couldn't cope with extra demands. But when they abused that and just stopped doing certain tasks because they knew I'd end up being forced into doing the boring/difficult stuff for them...

Now I try to avoid places that allow that attitude. I don't need the stress and aggravation.

I need to work harder at allowing myself time to do enjoyable things but still doing the boring chores.
jordan_c_price
Oct. 1st, 2011 12:03 am (UTC)
OH, ARGH, that's the pits! Luckily my job was too different from my nemesis' for me to get her work.

I'm also always happy to pitch in if someone needs me because they have a big crazy project due and they're getting overwhelmed. Sometimes things go easier when it's not your project, and you don't have the same emotions involved.

I need to work harder at scheduling the chores so that I can enjoy the after-effects of them being done.
( 13 comments — Leave a comment )

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