I do a lot of executive coaching and hear a lot of talk about being busy. Ten or twelve hour days, long commutes, travel, meetings, phone calls, chit chat, family, chores, life, children, all sorts of things are discussed in terms of what takes up people’s time. The quote for this piece is buried in the busy squiggles, it reads: “It is not enough to be busy, so are the ants. The question is what are we busy about?”
When we look at how we spend our time, I mean really look at it, the picture is clear. The amount of time we spend doing something is how important that something is in our life. Spend two to three hours a day in social media, not a big deal unless your family time is null. “Oh I can multitask and be a part of what is going on with my family” Liar! You can’t do both, no matter how you think you are faking people out. They know you are not paying attention AND they see what is more important to you than being with them.
The world wants us to believe that it’s important, we need to be up to date or post to keep people who care about us informed, or it might be important so I need to stay tuned. Lies! Are you willing to forfeit your time with the people you love for a social media site, or a video game, or a late night meeting for work? Sure it happens every so often, the challenge is we want to believe that when in reality it happens all the time. Ask the people who are being sacrificed for this ‘every so often thing’ and they will tell you.
We all live busy lives. The question still remains what are we busy about? When we are on our death bed will we wish we had played one more video game, or posted one more photo to social media, or even agonize over that meeting we did not attend or that could wait until tomorrow? Or will we think about the people we love and respect and the conversations we missed because we were too busy doing something less important. Take care of your business so you can focus on living your life…not the other way around. Put down the devices, the calls and go hug someone you love. THAT is a great way to spend your time.