Monday, September 24, 2012

The Busy Trap

As you would expect, I have much to say on this topic. But for now, just read this article that appeared in the NY Times last June from Tim Kreider, author of “We Learn Nothing,” a collection of essays and cartoons. There are, of course, a million reasons you can give as to why you can't do what he does (and granted, he does take the art of "unbusyness" to an extreme), but the few reasons you should are the ones that really matter.

Click below to read the article. Really. Trust me. You have time.
The Busy Trap

Some noteable quotes:

"I recently wrote a friend to ask if he wanted to do something this week, and he answered that he didn’t have a lot of time but if something was going on to let him know and maybe he could ditch work for a few hours. I wanted to clarify that my question had not been a preliminary heads-up to some future invitation; this was the invitation. But his busyness was like some vast churning noise through which he was shouting out at me, and I gave up trying to shout back over it."

"It’s not as if any of us wants to live like this, any more than any one person wants to be part of a traffic jam or stadium trampling or the hierarchy of cruelty in high school — it’s something we collectively force one another to do."

"Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day."

"Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done."

Just food for thought. And a reminder that you'll never lie on your deathbed wishing you had had more to do; only perhaps that you had done more.

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