Most of us sit around claiming that we’re busy people. We pack lots of different things into our schedules and then gloat about how busy we are. However, over at the New York Times, author Tim Kreider suggests busy-ness is almost an addiction and it’s best to embrace idleness instead.
Photo by Rachel Hobbs.
Kreider acknowledges that we’re all busy sometimes because that’s just how life works, but he also suggests we do it to ourselves on purpose:
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.
Kreider’s solution? Sit back and relax. When he started feeling overwhelmed from busyness, he escaped so he could actually work:
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.
So we want to hear from you. Are you one of those people that fills up every hour of every day, or are you more like Kreider and content to be productive for a few hours and then enjoy your idle time? If you are too busy, whose fault is it?
The ‘Busy’ Trap [New York Times]