Too busy because we are lazy and vain!
I was discussing writing articles with a friend and reverend called Danny. He mentioned an amazing pastor called Eugene Peterson. He wrote a book about people being “Too busy because we are lazy and vain.”
Spending a lot of my time speaking with people about their careers and businesses I can understand this completely.
If you struggle with productivity, this article may help
Some people complete more work than most people complete in a day in one or two hours. This is due to productivity and concentration and practice. Many people struggle with productivity and are permanently distracted.
Many people like to be seen to be busy, to feel important about themselves.
“I am busy because I am vain. I want to appear important. Significant. What better way than to be busy? The incredible hours, the crowded schedule, and heavy demands on my time are proof to myself-and to all who will notice- that I am important.” pg 18 The Unbusy Pastor, Eugene Peterson
People love feeding their egos and their endorphins
In this modern world we want to look important. Our egos love to feel big and be in control of our actions for the great endorphin fix.
Pleasure in life comes in many forms. Being able to make time to help others is much more rewarding than anything the ego can give us.
Work fills available time, we are not too busy because we are lazy
Parkinson’s law is the adage that “work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”.
Manage our time and agenda’s properly
Let’s not spend our time filling up our agenda with tasks that are unimportant and with tasks that we are only doing for vanities sake. Let us build our agenda around tasks that are going to take us forward to our long term goals.
“I am busy because I am lazy. I indolently let others decide what I will do instead of resolutely deciding myself. I let people who do not understand the work of the pastor write the agenda for my day’s work because I am too slipshod to write it myself. The pastor is a shadow figure in these people’s minds, a marginal person vaguely connected with matters of God and good will. Anything remotely religious of somehow well-intentioned can be properly assigned to the pastor.” pg 18 The Unbusy Pastor Eugene Peterson
Busy at doing nothing or too busy because we are lazy?
Many will resonate with this from their own bitter experiences. Being busy at doing nothing is so easy! Especially if we sit a desk and have notifications coming in from our emails and our social media channels.
Stop wasting your time on social media
According to AdWeek the time spent on Facebook alone per day is 35 minutes. I wonder how much time is wasted on social media when actually you aren’t even being social!
Watch the social dilemma movie!
And since the social dilemma movie, perhaps take the time to think, do you want to be the product?
Too busy because we are lazy and our monkey minds are doing what we let them do, enjoy themselves…
Taming and quietening our monkey mind and getting it to do what we want; VS the easy option of playing is not easy. It takes dedication and taking responsibility for it is the beginning.
Praying, meditation or unplugging from technology is a necessity
Praying, meditating, exercising or reading are all activities that cultivate your mind. Sometimes when I meditate writing notes helps to stay focused.
If you want to function at 100% make sure you don’t work more than 55 hours a week. They have proven that anything over than this is not productive. They have also proven it can give you an irregular heartbeat.
Social media sites and UX designers want to keep you on the page
Social media sites and teams of UX designers have been designed to retain you on the site for as long as possible.
This is because they have clever self-learning algorithms. To introduce more of the content you want to keep you on the site as long as possible.
We must be aware of our antisocial behaviour
According to Sherry Turkle as a society we are connected but are becoming more alone. Her Ted talk “Connected, but alone?” has had nearly 4 million views.
We are too busy because we are lazy and not conscious of what we are doing
So the main issue we have is us ourselves! Not the “unrealistic” demands set out by our employers, our clients or ourselves.
The demotivation we feel when we look back at our day and can’t think of anything remotely productive is a serious problem. If we continue along this pathway we will end up embracing the I am too busy mindset!
Multitasking is not a badge of honor
Usually multitasking is one of stupidity as it has been proven to reduce productivity dramatically.
We are kidding ourselves by thinking that we can multitask when in fact only 2% of the population can do it effectively.
Shifting between tasks can cost us 40% reduction in productive time
“Meyer has said that even brief mental blocks created by shifting between tasks can cost as much as 40 percent of someone’s productive time.” American Psychological Association.
We have to shift what we are doing and then it takes us a considerable amount of time to get into the task in hand.
Juggling tasks is so bad for our concentration and that permanent state of flux is something that I wish to avoid.
Switch notifications off and only check email 3 times per day
Since this post was originally written I have changed my strategy. Now don’t turn on the internet until 10am or 11am most mornings.
“Work fills available time”. If not monitored closely we will be controlled by the internet and not our own intent.
Sometimes being too busy because we are lazy is not an option. When you have things to do it is imperative to control your actions. Manage your time effectively, especially if you are struggling with working from home as now so many people are.
Adapting and not being too busy because we are lazy
I used to check emails only twice or three times a day, this has changed as I became busier.
My social media accounts had ALL notifications switched off and except Facebook messenger. This was taking up brain space. When notifications popped up, my brain was thinking about who it was, what they said, was it important…
How much control do you want to have over your life?
How much available time do you have to manage your social media?
If you have an app open and someone messages you then why not respond. Depending on who it is
You choose how to manage your interruptions
You don’t have to respond immediately to people. But don’t feel you can’t if your app is open.
Switching off notifications and dipping in during the day can be another strategy. A friend of mine only checks his phone 2-3 times per day.
You can also decide which channels or notifications to have on
It may also be good to have notifications switched on for specific people. Or only give specific people access to one or two important channels, this will keep your distractions to a minimum.
Thanks for reading if you have any tips for reducing distractions and increasing productivity. Please add them at the bottom.
You can always read my latest blog Mental Health, Working Remotely: Managing Emotions
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