Busyness isn’t real

Adam Walker
3 min readMar 6, 2019

When I was single I was busy; then I got married. When I was first married I was busy; then I had a child. When I had one child I was busy; then I had another. Today I have five children, grow two organizations, host three podcasts, blog, exercise, am considering writing a book, and I do not consider myself busy.

My kids are involved in extracurricular sports. The girls have a combined total of ten to twelve classes/rehearsals a week for ballet. My son is on a year-round swim team, meeting three times a week. We are also involved in our church and the kid’s school. I’m still not busy.

I’m starting to train for another event. I write every week, keep up with the news, will read 35 books this year and spend time with my family. I’m still not busy. I don’t speak the word busy anymore.

I believe busyness is a state of mind rather than a state of being. It’s a virus that creeps up on us when we aren’t looking. Our culture values busyness as if it equals productivity and value; it doesn’t. The opposite is true; the busier you are, the less productive you will be.

If I’m busy, it’s my own doing. It means I’m doing a lot of things, but not enough of the right things. I have a lot of responsibilities and work full-time, but that is not busyness. I’m involved in a lot of things, but that is not busyness. Busyness is feeling overwhelmed by all you have to do, out of control and mastered by your schedule rather than being the master of it. I am the master of my schedule and make sure there is time for family, fun, sleep, work, nonprofit volunteering, and learning.

Think about it for a moment; you may feel busy but are you? Do you have time to watch TV? Do you have time to sleep that extra hour on Saturday? Do you have time to take a nap, go out with friends, watch Netflix, check Facebook, zone out on Twitter, laugh at YouTube videos, or play games on your phone?

All of these things are great for resting and blowing off steam. They are also indicators that perhaps we aren’t as busy as we feel. We fill the gaps in our time with these things, contributing to a feeling of busyness.

Let me ask you this. If you eliminated all of your screen-time outside of work for one week, how much extra time would you have? If you got up 30-minutes earlier every day for seven days how much extra time would you have? What would you do with that time? Is gaining that time worth the experiment of trying it?

Photo by Alexandru Acea on Unsplash

Originally published at https://adamjwalker.com on March 6, 2019.



Adam Walker

Husband. Father of six. Wearer of fedoras. Serial entrepreneur. Nonprofit co-founder. I write about personal growth & leadership.