There’s Your Busy And Then There’s My Busy

Why Being Busy Is A Terrible Thing To Be

The reason busy is a failure is because it’s a non sustainable mechanism that encourages unhappiness. “Busy”, as I define it, is the state of having a loaded, pre-determined schedule that requires you be in a certain place or perform a certain action, mostly because that action must be satisfied to match the needs of another individual. This can be a meeting, this can be work, this can be a yoga class – anything that matches these “pre-determined” characteristics. When you’re busy, you have a schedule of must-fill actions throughout your day.


This reminds me of two things:

There is an old Shoe cartoon in which he is sitting at his typewriter staring out the window when another bird comes by and says, “Why aren’t you pounding that keyboard”?

To which Shoe replies, “Typists pound keyboards; writers stare out windows”.

I’m glad someone else remembered that! It’s from the early 1980s!

Here is a poor scan of it:

And also Victor Hugo’s quote:

A man is not idle because he is absorbed in thought. There is a visible labor and there is an invisible labor.

I’m busy all the damn time. But not according to the accepted — or apparently acceptable — definition of busy: having someone else tell me what to do.

Go do your busy. And lay off wondering about mine.



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4 responses to “There’s Your Busy And Then There’s My Busy

  1. I must admit I boxed myself into the busy corner because I thought I could do more work than I physically could.

    I’m backing off that now so I can go back to being semi-free-wheeling, and I did decline an opportunity that was very lucrative but would’ve bound me up.

    I’ve been the “good” kind of busy, but not in the last six months or so, and I’m desperately trying to claw my way back out of this hole I’m in.

  2. The majority of people are brought up with the work ethic – the grim entraper of souls. Whereas a better way is to look at how you can make maximum money in minimum time – thus freeing you up to be a dilettante – a glorious pursuit, one never to be scored.

    • Agreed. The most reward for the least effort/risk. Apparently, my parents (pre-baby-boomers) didn’t get this part. My dad thought it was the height of honor to work at a job (preferably a DESK job) for 20 years and get the gold watch.


      Fortunately, I was born with an entrepreneur’s soul–a true genetic mutant.

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