The end of busy

“Doing nothing is better than being busy doing nothing.” ~Lao Tzu

By Leo Babauta

Stop being busy and your job is half done.

Think about how busy we are, and how it has become a way of bragging: I’m so busy, I must be important.

“I have a million things to do! I never have time for anything! I can’t slow down — I’m too busy.” This is thought to be a good thing in a society where we must be productive, active, occupied.

But it’s a fool’s game. Busy is simply noise, action without meaning, lots of little unimportant things rather than a few important ones.

Stop being busy. Just decide to stop, today.

Now you’re halfway done. You’ve decided to slow down, and to focus on what’s important. All of a sudden, your schedule clears up, and your to-to list shrinks down to almost nothing.

Now you just have one or two things to do, instead of a million. You clear distractions, and focus.

But how can you stop being busy? It’s a simple change of mindset: you say, I’m not going to be busy anymore. Even if you have little control over your schedule, you can decide that you’ll slow down, and pick the important things to work on, and if necessary, talk to your boss about doing this. If you control your schedule, you can drop all the busywork, and just pick the high-impact tasks.

It might seem impossible, but once you decide to put an End to Busy, you have taken the biggest step.

You can now make time for work you’re passionate about, for work that matters. You can make time for solitude, for creating. You can make time for contemplation, for yourself.

Stop being busy, and your job is half done.

“Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.” ~Jane Austen