Alright, I get it, you’re busy. You’ve taken on so much that you no longer have time for yourself. I understand! It happens.
But let’s get something straight. Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you’re better than anyone else.
It doesn’t mean you’re more productive or more accomplished. It doesn’t mean you’re better than someone who has less to do than you. It just means you’re busy — that’s it.
Being Busy Is Not a Status Symbol
I get the feeling that people think taking care of yourself is a waste of time; that a person is less dedicated if they make a point to sleep eight hours a night and eat three meals a day. As if it’s a negative to actually use your lunch hour to eat lunch, or take vacation days or even stay in bed when you’re sick.
When did neglecting your mental and physical health in order to keep up with your busy lifestyle become not only glamorized, but expected?
It doesn’t make someone a better worker because they neglect their health to get more done.
When did we start striving for this? When did people start WANTING to be at their wits end at work? When did people start needing to be busier than everyone else to feel like they are somehow winning at life? All you’ve won is more trips to the doctor’s office and less time for yourself!
Now, don’t misunderstand me. If you’re busy doing things you love, then I think that’s great. To have something that keeps you up late at night and gets you out of bed in the morning because you’re simply excited to work on it — that’s something I actually really envy. But if you think being busier means you’re somehow better, more accomplished, more worthy of accolade — if you think it means anything other than the fact that you’re just busy — then I think you’ve got the wrong idea.
It’s All About Priorities
Remember this mantra: Your priorities are not my priorities, and that’s okay.
If you’re career driven and want that promotion more than anything then, by all means, go for it! Work long hours, put in more time. Go after the things you want!
But do not look at me, someone who is driven by wanting a more balanced lifestyle, and think less of me because I don’t stay late at work every night or live for that promotion like you do.
Just as I won’t look at you and pity you for how busy you are, because we are both just working toward what makes us happy.
My priorities are not your priorities, and that’s okay.
When Busy Becomes The Norm
This issue hits close to home. I have friends who are career driven and thrive on being busy — that’s just not me. I love the work I do and I want to do a great job, but I’m never going to pass on personal care just to get ahead in my career.
Sure, I’ll work late nights when I’m on deadline. I’ll get the work done — but those moments are the exception, not the rule. That level of busy is not my goal lifestyle!
I only get one life and one body, and I’ll be damned if I don’t take the time to care for it.
And I’m sick of this mentality being judged as “lazy” or “less dedicated.”
Just because I’m not as busy as you, doesn’t mean I don’t work just as hard or care just as much.
But being busy has become a status symbol in fast-paced cities like LA, DC and New York. The person who gets into work early, eats a protein bar for lunch while they’re hunched over their desk, and then jokes about it being a vodka-for-dinner kind of night is glamorizing what is essentially self-destructive behavior. And frankly, we often see this person rewarded more at the office than the person who took a sick day or left work on time to make sure they could attend a fitness class.
It’s been proven that the people that take care of themselves perform better in the workplace, yet the people who appear busier get promoted more often because of the perception that they are working harder.
It’s because we’ve cultivated a culture of “the busier you are the better you are” and people wonder why heart disease is killing so many Americans. Stress, anxiety, bad diet, lack of sleep…all of these things are putting strain on your heart and it’s going to kill you.
I’m angry because I want to be healthy enough to enjoy my life now, and 50 years from now. And I don’t want to be looked down on or judged for doing the things that will help make that happen. I want everyone to be happy and healthy, don’t you?
But to get there, it means changing the way we view “busy.”
Stop making “Busy” a glamorous lifestyle we should aim to achieve, but instead look at your busy times as bridges to you get to more peaceful moments when you can focus on what really matters — you.
How busy are you?
Do you take time for yourself?