“Are you busy?” is often a conversation opener between creative people in business.
The implication is that you should be busy; if you’re not busy, then something is wrong.
So it seems that the ‘correct’ answer is “Yes, very busy!”
But wait a minute !
Busy doing what ?
It’s easy to be busy, busy, busy. Mainly because it gives us an excuse not to Think. Thinking is difficult. Running around being busy is actually much easier. There are many “busy fools” out there, trying to do too much – and achieving nothing.
“Action is easy; thought is hard”, wrote Goethe.
“Being busy is a form of laziness – lazy thinking and indiscriminate action”
says Timothy Ferris in his book ‘The 4-Hour Work Week’.
I’m writing this at the end of the year, which is a good time for reflecting on the past and making plans for the future. (But we should reflect and plan more often than once a year, so anytime is good.)
Personally I’m going to make a resolution to be less “busy-busy” and focus on doing a few things really well and in a less frantic way. Then my answer to the common question “Are you busy?” will be an uncommon “No not busy – but highly effective.” (Wouldn’t that be a cool thing to be able to say?)
But first, the hard part. It means I need to stop and think, then decide what are the most important things I need to do – and therefore what not to do – in the coming year.
I’m going to think and make some strategic decisions.
What about you?