I continually think back to the book Crazy Busy by Kevin DeYoung. A book that brings to light a modern problem our western culture faces. It highlights how people used to be concerned with the invention of computers. That somehow they would replace human jobs. However, what technology and computers created was the ability to be more productive. On top of the efficiency increase, we were also able to connect to knew people, information and ideas via the web that was unreachable or took a significant amount of time previously. Computers and technology did not result in zero need for jobs but created more jobs that we could never have even conceived before.
We all have access to much greater opportunities thanks to technology. We can learn and work in new fields without paying thousands to attend a specialized school. If I want to learn how to do animation, I can google it. If I want to learn how to build a chair , I can google it. If I am interested in learning about any discipline in school, there will be a significant amount of knowledge that I can obtain online about that field.
We are able to learn and do so much greater. All of history has dealt with the same amount of daily time. We each only have 24 hours. What those 24 hours looks like now compared to a hundred years ago is significantly different. Our opportunities have increased exponentially. With all of this ability and opportunity, our culture has now felt a pressure and obligation to take advantage of what opportunities we have.
We love to jam pack our schedules full of work, appointments, meetings and entertainment. And to us, it is a representation of our own personal importance. If you are always asked to attend meetings or events, or if your job is demanding and requires extra time. We assume that no one else can do it like we can, that somehow, if we don’t attend or don’t accomplish it all, things will fall apart. That we must be incredibly important because we have all of these things we have to do or they won’t get done and that would be bad.
But would it really be bad? Are the consequences really that detrimental? My guess is that only about 1/4 of the things we keep busy with will leave a possible negative impact if left uncompleted or unattended.
Being busy is not inherently a bad thing. It can become bad if we have too much of it. We need to get things done and I personally am an advocate for finding your personal productive system to accomplish greater things. But ultimately, you will be hindered if all of your busyness is not balanced out with emotional, physical, spiritual and mental rest.
Life is all about balance. Too much of one thing is a bad thing. Same with getting things done, if that is all we focus on, ultimately we will fall short. We need to move beyond finding our identity in all of the things we do. We should realize that it doesn’t make us more important or special. We need to just keep busy doing what we love because we love it and taking time to have breaks.
I have seen our culture put so much emphasis on being more productive and efficient. It has become our goal to waste as little amount of time as possible and do exponentially more. There is book after book on this topic. Not to mention the number of blogs and articles dedicated to getting things done. which is all good. But without taking time to rest, we will ultimately be more harmful than helpful.