by • November 29, 2012 • Leading, Leaders and Leadership, Life As I Know ItComments (0)1744

What Are We Busy About?

Special thanks to Teri Bump for tweeting the photo below that inspired this post.


Having spent four out of 5 days last week at MBTI Certification training, I have come to experience what my fellow nerds might recognize as the post-professional development slump. While not as intense as the more contagious and widespread conference withdrawal, post-professional development slump is equally exhausting. I’ve found myself directionless, listless, coming down from the excitement of a structured series of exercises, lectures and mind blowing insights into human behaviour. (For those keeping track, your Nerd Alert alarms should be blaring at full volume).

Back in the office and back into my ‘routine’, I suddenly have time to stop and take stock of my to do list. Yes it is still long, yes there are still things that need to get done …

But I’m not busy

I have begun to see now how much of my identity and sense of place is caught up in action. While I continue to celebrate the ‘doing’ just as loudly as I do the ‘done’, moments like these provide space (whether I like it or not) to reflect on the question:

“What am I busy about?”

I was struggling with this post until I read some tweets coming out of the #AFAAM conference. In particular, I read the phrase

Busy But Bored

How fitting. To belabour my oft-used story metaphors, being busy might feel like frantically¬†stitching¬†together words to fill pages without buying into the plot. Apathy doesn’t always look like lethargy – movement helps distract from a lack of momentum.

Going through the motions gives the illusion of progress at the expense of purpose. How often do we become addicted to action, the withdrawal symptoms often so hard to bear that we take any excuse to move, no matter the direction but with blinding speed. Can we stop numbing the pain of perceived stagnation with the constant push to catch up to people who aren’t even running the same race? What, exactly, are we busy about?

What about you? Are you busy but bored? I think I am, and I don’t yet know what to do about it.¬†

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