It’s Not a Competition

rush
Credit: flickr / Just Add Light

I read lately that “busy is the new fine“, I bet you’ve seen it too – you ask someone how they are and they say “I’m busy”, or “keeping busy”. I do it too. I hate it, but it takes a long time to change your reaction. I’m trying.

However more than this, and worse, is this competition to be busiest. I’m busier than you. I must be more organized because I have more on my list. But – are you doing all these things well? I’ve started to notice that people who describe themselves as busy often use it as an excuse to do a half-hearted job at things. If you’re “so busy” that you do such a terrible job that someone has to redo it, why bother? These are the people that I stop bothering to delegate to, because it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

And then I see them and we have the competition as to who’s busiest. It infuriates me – I’m competitive, I want to win – but this is one of those competitions where if you win – you lose. The winner has more commitments, but it’s unlikely they are doing all of them that well. The loser may be picking a couple of things to be extraordinary at.

How do I get out of this conversation? By not playing this game, people seem to assume I’m not fully occupied and disrespect my time – I definitely don’t want that. My schedule is fairly flexible, so if it’s worth doing I’ll fit it in – but flexible doesn’t mean free.

7 thoughts on “It’s Not a Competition

  1. Heh, I've been noticing that a lot lately, too (the whole “I'm busy” response thing). And I definitely do it myself. But upon reflecting, I realized I do have a reason for it. I know this is my last semester that will be busy because of courses, and it's almost over… so I say I've been “busy but good” because I'm looking forward to the time in the not-so-far future that I won't be! 🙂

  2. Yeah, it's definitely difficult to balance courses with thesis and everything else we try to do! I can't wait until it's all over, although the rest of March is not going to be pleasant!

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