Busy Work

“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?”

Henry David Thoreau

There’s a fine line between busyness and effectiveness.

Busyness is doing tasks that look like work. 

Effectiveness is working with progress and an end result in mind.

One keeps you where you are and the other gets you where you want to be. The problem is busyness is a trickster and often disguises itself as effectiveness.

“Work expands to fill the time available for its completion.”

This classic quote (now Parkinson’s Law) by C. Northcote Parkinson is a great example of how busyness creeps into our days.

Does checking and answer emails ten times a day actually helping us or distracting us from the deep work we need to do?

Well.. not really, most of the emails we get are spam or other people trying to sell us things.

Busyness makes sense to me. It takes hard work and focus to make high-quality things. Busy work is a welcomed distraction for our subconscious (or consciousness) to delay—even just ever so slightly—the work we need/want/expect to do.

Often busyness is a sign that we need to take a break. Not a scroll-on-Reddit, watch 3 YouTube videos, pound some coffee kind of break. I mean something nourishing that wakes us up and gets us in the right mind space.

STAY BOLD, Keep Pursuing,
— Josh Waggoner | Daily Blog #989

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