busy

The Cycle of Being “Busy”

How often do you say you’re “busy”? Do you focus on booking every last slot on your calendar? If so, why?

I’ll be the first to admit it — occassionally when asked how I’ve been, I respond with “busy. crazy busy”. I vow to cut that down after reading NYT’s The “Busy” Trap two weeks ago. The article wraps up with this:

I did make a conscious decision, a long time ago, to choose time over money, since I’ve always understood that the best investment of my limited time on earth was to spend it with people I love. I suppose it’s possible I’ll lie on my deathbed regretting that I didn’t work harder and say everything I had to say, but I think what I’ll really wish is that I could have one more beer with Chris, another long talk with Megan, one last good hard laugh with Boyd. Life is too short to be busy.

Being the entrepeneur that I am, not working (aka being “busy”) is hard for me sometimes. If I’m going to work on something, I’m going to go all in and kick ass. There’s no sense half-assing building a brand or company. Maybe that’s why I’m addicted to travel. It’s one of the only times when I feel okay doing literally nothing for an entire day except sipping lattes, wondering aimlessly around for hours, drinking a few beers, reading for an hour — and going to bed. Being abroad is the only place where “busy” doesn’t creep into my life. Life is about a hell of a lot more than working. I know that. There is nothing I cherish more than time with best friends. I flew halfway around the world to spend time with mine, and I’d do it again in a heartbeat.

At the same time, I have extremely high ambitions in life — I ultimately want to do social venture capital and work with entrepreneurs working on businesses focused on social good. Right now, I’m doing something I love (building Oh Hey World) and that certainly requires a lot of work to execute on. That said, downtime is essential to performing anything at a high level — at least for me. Burnout is a very real phenomenon that I’ve experienced. I need personal reflection time to stay sane. Most of my best ideas (and I have a lot of them) come when I’m NOT working heads down.

For me, it’s about striking the middle ground of accomplishing great things while still spending loads of quality time with loved ones. If I wasn’t working on something I’m extremely passionate about — I’d probably just travel the world indefinitely visiting friends all over the globe. That would be great, but I feel I’ve been given a great opportunity to make the world a better place — and wouldn’t feel right to not take advantage of that opportunity.

There’s no one right way to live life. If you are a doer who wants to keep a full schedule, all I ask  is that you do something you love that makes this world a better place. After all, being busy for the sake of being busy is…well…pointless.

I think this turned into a ramble. Which I guess proves my conflicted thoughts on the subject.

[Photo via Our Out-of-Sync-Life]

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Drew Meyers

Drew Meyers is the co-founder of Horizon & Oh Hey World. He worked for Zillow.com from September of 2005 to January of 2010 on the marketing team managing Zillow’s API program and various online partnerships. Founder of Geek Estate Blog, a multi-author blog focused on real estate technology for real estate professionals, and myKRO.org, a blog devoted to exploring the world of microfinance. As passionate as you get about travel.

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