Life: Are you addicted to busy? I confess – I am

I have a confession – I’m addicted to busy.  I don’t want to be – trust me.  For some reason in my mind, I think if I’m busy, I’m being productive; it makes me successful.

I’m the kind of person who has a hard time being still and I get bored easily.  I like to be moving, to be doing something and I’m laser-focused on the task at hand.  I’ve always been like this for as long as I can remember.  And hey – I get the job done.

I don’t think I’m anything special, I feel like there are a lot of us out there that feel the same way.  We are master jugglers.  We’re amazing at juggling.


But here are my “busy” questions…

Why do we need to feel like we are pulling our hair out in order to feel productive?

Is there a reason why we feel like a nice relaxing day with 3 items on our to-do list make us feel unproductive and unsuccessful?

Why do our calendars need to be filled with meetings and a to-do list a mile long to feel like we won the day?


Shouldn’t we feel happy that we can turn off the computer at 4:30 pm (and not feel guilty), we’re able to take the dogs for a walk in the middle of the day or go and grab a coffee with a friend and catch up?  We should be happy that we have downtime, – right?  But time and success seem to be in this perfectly dysfunctional marriage.

Working in events, you have peaks and valleys of busyness.  The peaks start a couple of months before the event.  If you have multiple events going on, well then you’re hanging out on that peak for a long time.  The valleys can be the waiting – waiting for responses or answers and you’re at a stand still or it could be post event and you’re waiting for the next wave.

The question is how do we handle those valleys so in our minds we don’t feel like productivity losers.  How do we tell ourselves and believe that we’re OK with a to-do list that is only a half a page long and might include a coffee date, dog walking and maybe some business strategy?  Or our calendar isn’t booked 24×7 and we can work on business vs. in our business.

As I’m sure you can tell, I’m a very structured, goal oriented person.  For the month of May, I’m trying to be more intentional with my time – I filled out my Powersheets. (SIDE NOTE: I’ve tried for 3 years to do this and failed and I made the commitment for the month of May to stick to it).  I have 5 things that I’m doing daily and they are:

Log my food (using the Lose it App)

Workout 5 x a week (and this is booked as an appointment in my calendar and it’s a non-negotiable)

Read for 30 minutes a day (currently reading The Circle and want to finish so I can see the movie)

Read a bible verse (using the Bible App – Joyce Meyer Promises for Your Everyday Life – a daily devotional)

Write in my gratitude journal (using 5-minute Journal App)

The question you might ask – has this made me feel better? Yes, it has.  But I’ll be honest, I still have a very hard time not always moving or working on something.

Everyone measures success differently.  Some measure it based on the amount of money that they make, some by the number of check marks on their to-do list and some by how many vacations they take.  I’m still a work in progress but by doing these 5 things, it’s actually been a bit freeing if that makes any sense.

I saw this quote from Tim Ferris – Busy doesn’t mean productive.  It definitely got me thinking.  Am I productive because I’m able to check off 50 items on my to-do list and didn’t have time for lunch?  Or am I productive because I’m able to get 1 contract signed and I able to leave the office at 3 pm?  This quote needs to be posted everywhere because it’s a great reminder for us all, especially me.

Do you feel the same way?  I don’t think I’m alone out there.  Do you have any tips and tricks that have worked for you – please leave a comment.  This is a super important topic for us all to think about.

Caryl Lyons

Managing Partner
With a love for design, her signature style infuses everyday life into events. Her philosophy is to create an experience with food, color, music and interior design. You won't see just a pen and pad at one of her events.
1 Comment
  1. Melissa Poole May 10, 2017, 13:44

    I think this is where hobbys come in. If I have a weekend all to myself, I delve into making a painting. I stay busy, but it’s not all over the place. It’s one self indulgent task and an expression of feeling, digesting all the other “busy” during the week. And then if it sells, financial justification and gratitude. .

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