Busy Is The New Lazy
If you’re telling everybody that you’re busy all the time, it’s time to rethink your ideas about productivity.
So why do we keep doing all this humblebragging about how busy we are? It’s a question Choi investigates thoughtfully: She observes that people who are “legitimately occupied” with work or family rarely play the “too busy” card (clearly, we don’t know the same people)—or, may even go out of their way to make a connectionbecause they’ve been so swamped.
To Choi, when we say “busy,” we’re really trying to say something else—although what exactly that might be depends on the harried soul that’s complaining.
She supplies some translations:
I’m busy = I’m important.
Being busy gives people a sense they’re needed and significant, Choi says. It’s also a sign saying that you’re about to be on-ramped into somebody’s misguided ego trip.
I’m busy = I’m giving you an excuse.
Saying that you’re busy is a handy way to outsource your responsibility to your irresponsibility. Since you’re always distracted, you don’t have to do anything for anybody.
I’m busy = I’m afraid.
Look above at the “I’m important” part. Whether the speaker knows it or not, complaining of busyness is a subtle cry for help, one that reassures us that yes, we are in demand.
In this way, busyness functions as a kind of laziness. When we fill our schedules with appointments and hands with phones, we divest ourselves of downtime. When we’re endlessly doing, it’s hard to be mindful of what we’re doing.
Of course, it’s a interdependent issue. It’s hard to have downtime if your bosses subscribe to what Anne Marie Slaughter calls our time macho culture, “a relentless competition to work harder, stay later, pull more all-nighters, travel around the world and bill the extra hours that the international date line affords you.”
But don’t let that excuse suffice. You can convince your bosses—if you know how to approach the conversation.
Many of you have likely heard about the bombing at the Boston Marathon today. I’ve created this downloadable wallpaper to raise money to benefit the victims. All money raised will be evenly distributed between Boston Children’s Hospital and Red Cross of Boston. You can donate here.
Please spread the word, not only for this one, but for all charitable endeavors, including blood donation. The people of Boston need our help. Let’s give it to them.
Your Personal Brand Is More Than Your Follower Count
Your brand isn’t about numbers, it’s about how people experience you in real life.
We’ve been discussing personal brands at Fast Company for a while now—like since 1997—but most of the time when we discuss the Brand Called You, we fittingly focus on Twitter tai chi and LinkedIn leverage. While these mediums are essential, we do live at least some of our lives offline—and your personal brand is present there, though you don’t get automated emails about it.
What we need, then, is a more holistic perspective. Writing for Forbes, Glenn Llopis supplies us with one:
“A personal brand is the total experience of someone having a relationship with who you are.”
Branding isn’t acting the part—performing all day will drain you—but rather the consequence of living with authenticity. Like a wise woman once said, “brand is an exhaust fume from you running the engine of your life.”
[Image: Flickr user Kurt Haubrich]
that’s so cool
Mr. Speaker, Mr. Vice President, Members of Congress, fellow citizens:
Fifty-one years ago, John F. Kennedy declared to this Chamber that “the Constitution makes us not rivals for power but partners for progress…It is my task,” he said, “to report the State of the Union – to improve it…