I’m incredibly busy. And your point is? A response to Tim Kreider’s NYT’s Opinionator Piece
I am the busiest person I know. Period. I don’t actually know anyone who is busier than I am (and I do know a lot of people, and no, I am most definitely NOT being self-congratulatory). I am incredibly busy. But I’m not STUPID busy. I’m focused, work-and-play-time-defined-by-boundaries busy. I have spent years of my life refining my routines, strategies and tactics for what works for me. I am busy, and that is a good thing, despite what Tim Kreider says on his NYT’s Opinionator article. Being busy IS in fact better than being just idle. Let me explain why I think that.
If you have read my blog for more than a year, or followed me on Twitter, you probably know that I used to write a blog post, every six months, like clockwork saying “I am exhausted, I need ME time, I can’t cope with everything”. Like clockwork. Slowly but surely, these posts have stopped. Whenever I do need a break, I call for a moratorium on everything I do outside of my academic life: I take breaks from blogging. I refuse new pitches for stories/articles/posts. I write less on my blog.
And I ALWAYS make sure that I spend time with the people I love the most. As my closest friends know, I make it my priority to make time for my loved ones (JT takes first priority, and when my family is in town, they do and JT takes second, and then the rest of my friends). I *always* schedule relaxing time, time with my friends, time for self-reflection. But I also work REALLY hard. I teach, I do research, I give keynotes and talks, I speak at conferences, I run workshops. I write. I volunteer. I connect people with others. I give of myself to the community, and I build community around me. All of this requires me to be VERY organized with my schedule. That’s why I wake up most days at 4:45am. That’s why I have a defined morning routine. That’s why I manage myself by the task and not by the hour.
And I have a social media life, on top of all that (just read what a day in my life looks like on the profile that the Vancouver chapter of the Canadian Public Relations Society did of me). Of course I’m not always online (although it may look like it, since I schedule some of my social media content).
THAT is the trick.
Scheduling yourself to the very minute, like I do, may in fact enable you to have more relaxing time. If you work smarter, harder and more focused, you can expand the amount of time you schedule to relax and just take life as it comes. If you read my schedule, you can see that while I wake up super early, there is ALWAYS time for something relaxing and leisurely.
But, do you ever sit down and smell the roses, Raul? Do you ever take enough time to yourself?
Not always. I do work very hard at taking care of myself. That was my goal since 2011. I try, but as I have always said, life is a balancing act. I am not always very good at balancing my free time with my busy time, but I’m always studying myself and trying to find ways to better myself. THAT is what I think is important.
And in the end, the answer lies, as Kreider says, in a middle-of-the-road solution.
Perhaps the world would soon slide to ruin if everyone behaved as I do. But I would suggest that an ideal human life lies somewhere between my own defiant indolence and the rest of the world’s endless frenetic hustle.
In my case, I thrive on being busy. Being idle only works for me for a very short period of time, the time I require to recuperate. That’s why I am a hummingbird. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Now, the question on to you my dear readers: Are you always busy? Does this hinder you or do you thrive on being busy? Let me know in the comments section.