are you really as busy as you think you are?

Are you too busy, and do you like to let people know how busy and exhausted you are? And/or have you noticed an increase in the number of people in your lives who are busy busy busy and who will tell you all about it?

Then you must read this article by Hanna Rosin in Slate, You’re Not As Busy As You Say You Are. She writes: “The art of busyness is to convey genuine alarm at the pace of your life and a helpless resignation, as if someone else is setting the clock, and yet simultaneously make it clear that you are completely on top of your game. These are not exactly humble brags. They are more like fretful brags, and they are increasingly becoming the idiom of our age.”

And the part I found most interesting: “The answer to feeling oppressively busy … is to stop telling yourself that you’re oppressively busy.”

I think there’s something to that. I feel far more harried and rushed when I’m focusing on the fact that a particular day or week feels packed. When I instead just move through the stuff I have to do, calmly ticking things off one by one without freaking out about How Much I Have To Do, it feels far less daunting and exhausting, and I tend not to end the day in a stressed-out heap. (Rosin tried  silently repeating, “You’re not that busy” to herself one day, and said that it stopped “the tape in my head of what had to get done that day. I just calmly did one thing after another.”)

Anyway, read the whole article. It’s fascinating.

(And if you want more, read this as a follow-up. Hat tip to the reader who suggested it yesterday.)

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