“Always Free….. and Worth Every Penny”
“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” Socrates
I am just crazy busy right now…. You see, I am very important….I am not sure you appreciate just how important I am…. I get hundreds of emails every day – very important emails….. they come in faster than I can manage. That’s because I have back to back appointments every day – from 7 AM to 7 or 8 or even 9 PM. These are very critical, calls, meetings, conference calls…… these meetings are stacked up behind each other like flights at O’Hare after a summer thunderstorm…. Outlook can barely handle all the overlaps, double/triple bookings, time zones……
There are key decisions to be made, input given, counsel dispensed, teams to lead, staff to guide…… I know I am important because Outlook shows me how busy I am…. I am so important it takes weeks to get an appointment with me…. Of course, if the issue is important enough, I will allow the appointment to be moved up in line ahead of someone less important.
The good news is I can really multi task – I hate to do it ……but these are important things that must be handled. I do email, text and IM while I am on a conference call……
I was having a good week – my calendar was stuffed fuller than a preacher’s pocket at river baptism – I was making decisions, handling calls, pushing through meetings….
But on Thursday afternoon some strange things started to happen…..right before my 1 PM important call I get a message that it is cancelled. Can you believe the nerve!!?? Cancelling a call on me? ….at the last minute??!! I am the one who cancels calls!
I quickly move to my list of overdue calls to people waiting to hear from me… and call the first person on the list…no answer….strange…. Is it possible they don’t have Caller ID ?? I move to the second call on the list…. No answer !! The third person on the list…. No answer !!! What the hell?? Don’t these people realize I am calling them?
The gap of time with nothing to do is startling… and uncomfortable…I am temporarily disoriented…but I start working the backlog of important email – I must use my precious time efficiently.
…. I am getting a bit jumpy and bored as the clock approaches 2 PM – I get on the next important call promptly at 2…. I am the first one on the call…..very unusual – typically people are waiting for me….. no one joins…. I get an email at 2:03 the call was cancelled – WHAT THE HELL !!! ????!!!!
I return to my call list – no one has called back yet…. I start calling again – no one answers. My mind starts to race and my pulse picks up…. I am not quite sure what to do with the time…. Then I begin to imagine the worst…..maybe this is not a coincidence…. Could I have been fired and everyone knows but me? No one wants to talk to me because I am no longer important????
….or worse…. Oh…even worse….was my rival Mr. Ambitious promoted above me? ….and everyone wants to talk to him instead of me??
My heart runs to fear…. The empty space of time has confused me…confronted me ….. my compulsion to be busy has been a sedative…. Making me numb……. Numb to the subtle shifts happening in our business and our customers….. unaware of what our employees are really thinking….
I have filled my time to look and feel busy….. because as long as I am busy I feel I am important….. aren’t all busy people important ?? aren’t all important people really busy? Crazy busy? As I reflect I can see now that many (most??) of those meetings and calls are mindless activity…. It gives the illusion of progress and importance….
When people ask me how I am doing I impulsively tell them how crazy busy I am – it somehow conveys that I am important….I have value…. I cringe at the thought of telling someone that I am all caught up – sure I have time to chat….
All the activity has tossed me around like a leaf in a stream….. I am so immersed in being busy I am just going along for the ride….
How do I let go of this insecurity of needing to make myself busy ? How do I take back time to sense or changing where I am going….
This is not a “stop and smell the roses” thing….this is slowing down long enough to know why I am in the garden in the first place…. Is the garden where I really need to be? If so – what needs to be done here… If I should not be in the garden now – where should I be ?
The cult of busy has driven me to get an inflated sense of importance… and clouded the most important issues of direction and purpose….
“It is not enough to be busy. So are the ants. The question is: What are we busy about?” Henry David Thoreau
Interesting unrelated facts:
Which is correct ? “Beck and call” or “Beckon call”?
Humans and giraffes both have seven vertebrae bones in the neck.
The term bootleggers came from illegal whiskey runners who put flasks in their boots.