Busyness is an Illness

Being busy does not always mean real work. The object of all work is production or accomplishment and to either of these ends there must be forethought, system, planning, intelligence, and honest purpose, as well as perspiration. Seeming to do is not doing. –Thomas A. Edison

Today, being busy has become so mainstream that it seems like everyone is busy. But the question is, “Busy doing what?” Are we busy running around in circles, getting nowhere? Or are we actually achieving something?

Busyness: the Illusion of Productivity

Being busy or busyness is commonly misunderstood as being productive, but like Thomas Edison said, “Seeming to do is not doing.” There is a huge difference between busyness and being productive.

We’re busy when our days are hectic, chaotic, and jam packed with too many things to do. We’re busy when we fill our days with never ending, time consuming tasks that aren’t priority, such as reading unimportant emails/news/blogs, making/returning nonessential phone calls, texting and unnecessarily checking and updating our status on social media.

Busyness is what happens when we are confused about what really matters in life.

A person who understands what really matters will prioritise their activities according to their selfless goal. They will direct their actions in a calm, focused and controlled manner. And refuse to get into busyness.

And because their goal and actions are not ego-driven, they will be centred in the present moment, without worrying about the dead past or being anxious about the unborn future. Such a person will be peaceful, productive and progressive.

The “Not Enough Time” Illusion

When we have too many things to do, we often find ourselves saying, “There’s never enough time!” But, “not having enough time” is an illusion. There are 24 hours in everyone’s day. No-one is privileged to have one hour more and no-one is denied one hour less.

Time, or lack thereof, is not the culprit. The culprit is our own mind. Our mind’s worries and anxieties to be precise.

We worry about the things we’ve done and become anxious about the things we’ve not done. We worry about home when we’re at work and we become anxious about work when we’re at home!

Our worries and anxieties steal away our precious time, and leave us feeling as if there’s never enough time. Consequently we feel deflated, exhausted and depressed.

The Solution

To overcome worry and anxiety, busyness and the illusion of “not enough time” we must learn how to manage our mind. Managing our mind is the secret to a happier life.

It’s our mind that lives in the past and future. It’s our mind that constantly demands and rushes to get things done. It’s our mind that drives us busy. The only solution, therefore, is to learn how to manage it. When we can manage our mind we live a much happier and more fulfilled life.

References

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About the Author

Meredith Forder

Meredith Forder is the founding director of Vedanta Institute Perth. She is a graduate of the Vedanta Academy in India and a senior student of International speaker and philosopher Swami Parthasarathy. Through her teachings, Meredith presents insights about our modern-day epidemics — stress, anxiety, fear, addictions and depression — and provides a refreshing way to overcome them. She offers the essence of Eastern philosophy to our Western society, bringing a balance between outer success and inner peace of mind.

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