Turning Down: Anti-busyness


that’s something that i wrote to one of my best friends on google chat. how in the heck did life get busier than when we were in school? finding a month where we get to be in austin more than 2 weekends is hard. also finding a weekend that we can have completely to ourselves is also hard. 

i know that our generation is in love with the grind; included in the grind is work, social events and entrepreneurial side ventures. we tweet about how hard we are working, make songs about our hustle and literally wear it as a slogan. don’t get me wrong, i appreciate hard work and i know that anything great must be built through hard, unrelenting labor. however, im not one of those people who thinks busyness is a badge of honor. i envy people who can rest and who live completely uncluttered lives while still being productive. some people are on either extreme.  i really think those people took some kind of extra class in school that taught them balance early because they are anomalies. stillness truly is a virtue and turning down is underrated.

everyone i know is busy. i actually have a big philosophical issue with busyness for the sake of busyness, but i can’t make it stop. one of my biggest fears is getting to the end of my life and feeling like the filled to the brim schedule was all for naught. i often hypothesize solutions for my busyness problem. for example, the idea of having a “say no” weekend was awesome. it was a great way to recharge and a great excuse to eat crap food with no guilt or judgment. unfortunately, we weren’t able to keep that going as frequently as we would have liked. also, to completely turn off, we try to take mini getaways and be in nature. i wish there was a way to achieve that level of rest for free, but the getaways help a lot when we can squeeze them in; the issue is fitting them in. so, my fixes are solid in theory but i cant seem to apply them consistently. thus i always feel like a hypocrite in this area. i wonder if there is a support group i could join?

my generation is all about movements and noble causes. i wonder if i can start an anti-busyness, take a nap, reject the grind movement (some may already exist). it would need to be a collaborative effort between family, friends and bosses (because jobs have a part to play in this too). people would have to commit to having less events and celebrations. all of the events and get togethers and let the good times roll events are great and hard to say no to because….friendship. you want to be a good friend, you want to be there for people and don't want to be labeled as a flake. thus, reducing some of the social invites would help everyone rest more without the guilt of saying no with no excuse other than “i’s tired”. another would be having combined celebrations for things. i know this is completely experiential and i cant guarantee that we wont just fill it with more stuff, but wouldn’t it be cool to try? excuse me while i update my to-do list: start anti-busyness movement. comment here and tell me how you handle busyness and balance in your own life?

p.s. here’s a cool short video produced by The Atlantic about a company that implemented the 32-hour work week. 

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