The Illusion of Being Busy

Often, in our society, we look up to those who are busy. If you aren’t practically buried under the load of things that you “need” to get done, you much not be a contributing member of society. We are supposed to be running from place to place, with a to-do list, trying to get everything done — or at least look as though we’re getting something done.

“I’m so busy” is a common refrain.

But are you really accomplishing something that matters when you are so busy? In many ways, being busy is really more of an illusion.


What are You Accomplishing?

Often, we have this idea that being busy automatically equals getting something done. But is this really the case? How often have you been busy at work, attending meeting after meeting, only to realize that nothing substantial has been decided, and no true progress has been made?

What about multi-tasking. It’s easy to get involved in multi-tasking, sure that you are getting more done. But what about the quality of your work? Studies indicate that multi-tasking often results in taking longer to get your projects completed — and that the quality isn’t as high as it could be if you focused on one thing at a time.

Take a step back with all the running around you do, whether it’s taking your kids to an endless parade of activities, or frantically trying to cram in one more thing before you go to bed. Are you actually accomplishing what you want? Are your most important goals being met? And do you have time to refresh and relax and enjoy life?

An honest look might show that, even though you are busy with many things, you aren’t really accomplishing anything at all. Even worse, you might only be going through the motions for the sake of looking like you’re doing something.

Stop Going Through the Motions

It’s easy to get caught up in what we’re “supposed” to do. One of the most freeing moments of my life was when I realized that I didn’t have to look as though I was the perfect mom, joining the PTA and making cookies for the bake sale. There’s nothing wrong with doing those things if they make you happy and bring you fulfillment, but I was never going to be happy going to PTA meetings. Adding something like that to my to-do list made me busier, but it didn’t provide any satisfaction in my life.

When I it occurred to me that I don’t have to do those things just because other people do, I felt free to focus on improving my relationship with my family — particularly with my son. We also are very careful about activities my son does. Just as we often over-schedule ourselves as adults, it’s easy to over-schedule our kids. It looks as though we’re accomplishing a lot, but too often we’re just going through the motions, doing what we think we’re supposed to do in order fit in with an accepted lifestyle.

Instead, think about what would enrich your life. Stop going through the motions, and figure out what works for you. Let others do what works for them, and you decide what works for you. You might be surprised at how much better you feel when you stop worrying about being busy.

About the Author

Miranda is a freelance writer and professional blogger. See more of her writing at Her book, Confessions of a Professional Blogger is available from Amazon.