Are you busy? Our culture seems to encourage it. With the expectation for high productivity at work, long commutes, often both partners of a household working full-time or single-parents working more than one job, long lists of things we need to do, and ever-striving for perfection, we are living on over-whelmed mode. This non-stop lifestyle promotes stress, which threatens our health.
I have always been proud of my determination and working towards always doing better, but the endless activity and stressing about doing more has made me sick. I’ve now spent over a year trying to get away from things that have been degrading my health, and I avoid things that get me too worked up while working on the art of nonchalance. I still have a long way to go, but have shifted my view of always doing better by pleasing others, always doing my best work for every assignment, always having a clean house (the list goes on) to focusing on being better.
In Tony Crabbe’s Busy: How to Thrive in a World of Too Much (which everyone should read!), he discusses how many people work on simple, little busywork rather than tackling the hard, creative, and rewarding projects. Working through emails makes us feel like we are accomplishing things, but it doesn’t provide us with enriching stimulation like bigger creative projects.[i] It is easy for us to work a little while on cleaning up the living room or doing some dishes, but we struggle to set aside time to sit down and work on our bigger projects despite the fact that we enjoy them more and afterwards we have something to show for it. Just like our unanswered emails, there will always be more housework to do, but with important projects and creative works they will be complete and ready for the world to see if only we put time into them rather than busywork. So instead of boasting about how busy you are or continuing to keep your head down and trudge through the things you need to do, take some uninterrupted time to meditate, create and be better.
By Anna Brake
[i] Tony Crabbe, Busy: How to Thrive in a World of Too Much, (New York: Grand Central Publishing, 2015), 84.