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“It makes me sad that perceived busyness is where women still get a large proportion of their sense of worth. Apparently, being ourselves is not enough. It’s only if we’re in demand that we are valuable, needed, perhaps even indispensable. Busyness makes us feel alpha, bursting with status and importance. Busyness is validation. Busyness is success. 

Except, it really isn’t. It can be a defensive thing, a suit of armour: ‘I am busy, which means people want me’ or ‘I am busy, which means I’m still relevant.’ Sometimes it’s an avoidant: ‘I am busy, so everything is fine.’

This is a short excerpt from India Knight’s column in The Sunday Times Magazine, Sept 2nd 2018.

The article is directed at women but, us men have the same busy addiction going on. I’ve been ranting about it for years or at least, I was ranting about it for years. I’ve stopped mentioning it more recently. I’d rather just live the way I live and if it’s an example then so be it, if not then that’s ok too.

In short, I’m as busy as I want to be. And I don’t want to be very busy. At least not in the way that many people seem to be busy. And I’m not talking primarily about work and working hours.

Most of the busyness I see is rooted in the reasons in the excerpt above. I think. Some of it is just a lack of ability to organise and say no.

People keep suggesting that this will all change for us when we have a baby – coming December 2018 – as if a change of priorities and a newborn somehow has to be slotted into all of our already chaotic lives, like trying to squeeze a carton of orange juice into a full fridge! When I hear that sort of nonsense I always hear Marty McFly‘s voice in my head:

What are you talking about? What happens to us in the future? What, do we become assholes or something?

I think maybe Marty was talking about the busyness syndrome…

Busyness doesn’t make anyone more alpha, or help to attain more status and importance. Busyness is not validation. Busyness is not success. Often it’s just a big let down. A big series of lateness, cancellations, poor communication, curve-balls and irritation.

But, hey. Good luck with it busy people.

*mutters ‘assholes’ under his breath.