Being Productive in a Busy World — Part I | The irrational infatuation with unproductive busyness

Unproductive busyness is just another form of procrastination: meaningless tasks with shallow, if any, end goals — doing something simply for the sake of doing anything.

The infatuation with unproductive busyness
Image Source | A well traveled woman

Direction is so much more important than speed, and many people are going nowhere fast.

Time Is Your Most Valuable Resource

Society has cultivated a mindset in which we feel we always must be doing something, regardless of what we may or may not actually be achieving.

Unproductive busyness is just another form of procrastination: meaningless tasks with shallow, if any, end goals — doing something simply for the sake of doing anything.

Empty busyness is another form of procrastination

Being busy without purpose is no better than procrastination. It is often nothing more than a distraction or an excuse masking itself as productivity.

It is a bad habit that often goes under the radar so thoroughly that it is not even castigated as a problem because we have validated this form of distractedness as part of an inevitable, acceptable norm, and, furthermore, we misidentify it as an accomplishment rather than a hindrance.

We are inundated with empty amusements and preoccupied with fruitless activities that claim our attention and our time with little to no progressive byproduct. We run futile errands, make empty to do lists, overcommit to fleeting moments, and then excuse ourselves from any valid productivity because “I’ve been so busy.”

So often our main pursuits and potentially rewarding goals are put off at the excuse of being “too busy.” It is quite the interesting excuse for not being productive because it seems a bit counterintuitive. If your busyness is not producing results, what were you doing and why?

Being busy is not synonymous to being productive

Busyness for busyness’ sake does not validate your use of time simply for its ability to occupy vacant moments.

There is nothing more counterproductive than busy work that not only produces shallow or ephemeral results, but also detracts from our potential to find, focus on, and finish worthwhile goals.

Busyness drains your energy and time with little to gain from it, and sometimes even much to lose from it. Futile focus will never yield lasting results.

As we invest our time into these fleeting achievements, we are losing our temporal assets, wasting our resources on frivolities that are not worth our while in the long run.

But regardless of the imminent stagnancy, we often validate trivial busyness for simply having done anything, even if nothing was actually fruitful.

We pardon our busy idleness with placating evidence of checked off to-do lists and pardonable excuses, and then one day turn around to wonder what we have actually been doing with our lives all this time.

Your time is an investment-And your busyness should reflect your perceived value of your time

“Where did the time go?” we ask as if it has uncharacteristically escaped us, even though, since the beginning of time, it has proved that it does nothing but, well, go.

And though we are well-aware that Time is one of the most famous escape artists, we live oblivious to the reality thereof. We senselessly waste it as if we have all of the time in the world; as if it is a renewable resource.

And then we accumulate voids of lost moments that can’t be reclaimed. Our ‘now’ transitions so quickly to ‘then,’ present becomes past with each passing second, and we look back to find there was so little substance or fulfillment to show for our time spent.

Tune in for more

In order to combat the affliction of busyness, to reclaim fulfilling moments, to perpetuate a productive — not busy, lifestyle, we will be embarking upon a productivity series. This series will outline tactics in which to identify the culprits of busyness and then to effectively beat it with strategic productivity.

Read the other parts in this series:

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5

Originally published at Pursuit of Daydreams.