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Busy ≠ Important

November 15, 2011

Is it just me or does everyone seem crazy busy all the time?

I was on a business trip this week and noticed as I was in airports and airplanes and taxis and meetings that most people were taking calls, making calls, checking email and texting non-stop.  It’s not just on trips – I see it in the office, I see it in the car, I see it everywhere.

I can’t help but wonder whether at this moment in our society we equate busy with important. The more I have to do, the more I have to check in to make sure things are going ok, the more I’m on my phone, the more I have to email — well then, the more important I am. Do we believe that busy = important?

I am describing myself as much as I am describing my observations of others, though I wish this were not the case. Alas, I am a member of our society, I am alive in the world at this moment and I struggle with this, too.

I do not believe that busy = important. We don’t get our importance from what we do; we bring our importance to what we do. I believe human = important. We show up and we’re important. That’s it.

I try mono-tasking (check out this great book). I try not being on email 24 hours a day. I do this so I can have time to think, to gain insight, to listen. It works – only then do I have the creative spurts to write this blog, for example. And yet I too feel the pull of always being online, on the phone, etc.

I would argue that busy is not equal to important. For us to reach our potential, we need time where we are not too busy to let creativity and insight happen. They need room, and we need to provide it. One of our founding members is Bill Burns, who works for Netflix. He recently told me that he jealously guards his free time – which I found both discerning and inspiring.

One thing we aim to do with Wisegate is save our members time. They tell us they spend inordinate amounts of time scrambling to find information, to find out what their peers at other companies are doing, to stay abreast. Well, that’s why we’re here. I hope we save someone time today that they then use to be not so busy.

 

 

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