Is Busy the New Stupid?

May 12, 2020

Is Busy the New Stupid?

May 29, 2023

“How can I be bored when I’m so busy?” A friend of mine asked this provocative question last week. Here we are experiencing a different kind of GDP (Great-Delicious-Pause), and he was lamenting how full his calendar is and how he’s becoming a “Zoombie,” with all the never-ending video calls.

It’s easy to trade one kind of busy-ness (rushing from one meeting room or appointment to the next) for another type of busy-ness (video calls, online games, podcasts, Facebook posting, and trolling Twitter). Here’s a pretty fascinating visual depiction of media consumption by generation. How quickly our time has filled up! Of course, paying attention to this new trend doesn’t mean a thing unless we pause and ask ourselves if we’re using our time in wise and nurturing ways.

Artist Roy Lichtenstein’s famous “I Can’t Believe I Forgot to Have Children” is ripe material for our times, but the speech balloon might better read, “I Can’t Believe I Forgot to Take a Nap.” I’ve always believed heroes don’t take siestas. And, I get nervous with pregnant pauses, whether it’s on the screen, at the pulpit, or in a job interview. I tend to fill the space. But I have more space than normal these days, and, like the rest of the world, I have to adjust on how to use it more wisely. To that end, I’m now putting two five-hour segments in each weekday calendar with an invite to myself to “Spy on the Divine.” In other words, go commune with nature.

“Flect” in Latin means to bend. “Reflect” means to dwell carefully on something. Maybe this is the time to think deeply about how to bend, or how to alter your life. Bill Gates’ well-chronicled annual “Think Week” allows him the opportunity to have solitary space to imagine and be curious about the world, all of which led him to ponder the risk of a virus-based pandemic on the TED stage five years ago. He and Warren Buffett talk about time being our most precious commodity in this short video.

Or maybe this is the time to become your own garden variety philosopher? After all, philosophy is simply a conversation with our thoughts. And what better time than now. Spring has arrived.

Time for some calendar spring cleaning!

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