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Too Busy: Two Words and One Big Fat Lie

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How we will fill the hours in our day is completely up to us, but if we fill those hours with work we don’t enjoy it’s easy to feel too busy.

I’ve never heard of a highly creative person being too busy. Let me rephrase that: I’ve never heard of a highly creative or successful person that I respect being too busy.

The most creative people of our time are doing more things in a day than most people do in a week (or even month). But you know what you rarely hear a highly creative or successful person say? “I’m too busy.”

Who are the people who most often say they’re “too busy?”

Think about the people who you hear say “I’m too busy.” More often than not, those people aren’t actually too busy. They’re just filling their days to hide insecurities.

I recently listened to an excerpt of an audio book by Tim Kreider, that was featured by Tim Ferriss. Mr. Kreider’s thoughts on being busy resonated with me. If I was “too busy” to listen to that excerpt, this article wouldn’t exist and I wouldn’t have become a slightly better version of myself with something to share.

The digital age we live in should provide us with more time than we could ever imagine. Twenty years ago when you wanted to look up a fact, you had to:

  1. Get in your car,
  2. Drive to a library,
  3. Find an encyclopedia (with the letters on the spine that coordinated with your topic),
  4. Sift through hundreds of pages of information,
  5. Only then to find your answer.

Nowadays, you just hold down a button on your phone and ask a nonexistent human your question. Or you Google it. Either way, we should have an immense amount of extra time for any action we take these days. We should never actually be “too busy.”

However, it seems just the opposite.

It seems as if our days are filled completely to the brim. It feels like there are never enough hours in the day. It feels like we’re too busy.

This makes it nearly impossible to find creativity and inspiration.

I’d like for you to answer the following question honestly. If you’ve ever said the words, “I’m busy” or “I’m too busy,” was it due to tasks you actually enjoyed doing?

For myself, the answer is no. That’s 100% real truth. The only time I ever actually feel too busy is when I’m doing a bunch of mundane stuff I don’t want to be doing. But I’m a realist, and I haven’t manufactured a life without mundane stuff (yet).

If the work you are doing makes you feel too busy, then the work you are doing doesn’t truly matter to you.

Work worth doing isn’t busy work.

We live in such an amazingly exciting time. The possibilities created by the Internet—by the vast amounts of communication, by the access to information—should not keep us tethered to a life full of feeling busy.

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