Take ‘Busy’ off Its Pedestal
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“How are you?”
“Busy,” she says, with a quick smile and no time for small talk as she powerwalks to the next checkmark on her planner.
With the start of the semester, the season of free T-shirts and recruitment for committees, organizations, and teams has also begun. Involvement in these groups can help students meet new friends and make a difference on campus and in the community; however, it can become far too easy to say yes to just one more activity and much too difficult to tell someone no. The temptation is convincing to fill our lives up to the brim so that we’ll be fulfilled, but in a life without time for growth, rest, and reflection, that sense of fulfillment loses its meaning in the maelstrom.
We of The Prairie ask that you stop and ask when “busy” became the defining aspect of life. For many, it has gone beyond a description to a prized accomplishment, as though busyness is something admirable that all should try to attain. However, when relentless busyness makes the shift from a temporary condition to a chronic lifestyle, it can subtly begin to take its toll.
We live in a culture that glorifies busyness, and we often treat busyness as though it’s a means to an end such as success, wealth, or future relaxation. The more busy, surely the more productive, and surely the more prosperous, we often reason. However, the opposite is often true. When we divert our focus to more than we can handle, we frequently either stop enjoying our activities or no longer have enough time to do them justice.
Instead of having the smug satisfaction of being “too busy,” develop your priorities so that you have excellence in the work on which you choose to focus. We don’t recommend that you drop into the ditch on the other side of the road and become lazy, but we do suggest choosing to devote time to the activities that will best shape you into person whom you want to be. Then, eliminate the fluff activities that are only adding to your stress and anxiety.
“How are you?”
Let’s change the conversation.