Busy ? No you are not…

By Devaki Parathsarthy

Remember when everything was hand written? When letters went via post. Handwritten invoices were received on paper, paid and filed in large box files? Trial Balances and ledgers done by hand with red and black pens? Remember when you had to cook on the stove? Buy vegies and cut them, cook them and eat the same day? No left overs because no fridges? No frozen dinners? You had to walk to get to the station and take a train in to work. You had to go to the bank and queue up to take money out? Go to malls to shop? You probably do”¦ and if you don’t you have read about those days.

It’s not the same any more. It is the day of instant now. If it doesn’t happen in an instant it doesn’t need to be done! Computers calculate budgets and spend with the push of a button. You can drive if not fly to anywhere cutting down travel time. You have fridges that make frozen dinners “fast to cook and good to eat”! You can transfer money to a business or person in a flash. Bills can get paid automatically. Effectively, with all the fan dangling gadgets and gizmos, man has pretty much doubled the number of hours in a day!

But the irony of the world today is that we are all of a sudden just too busy!

Too busy to pick up the phone and say hi! Too busy to respond to an email. Too busy to respond to messages and emails. Too busy to cook a proper meal, to lay the table, to clear the dishes. Too busy to tuck your child in with bed time stories. Too busy to stop and check the beauty of the rain or the rainbow”¦. Why???? In spite of all those time-saving bits of wizardry (which in my opinion actually chew up far too much of their days, whether they are tackling traffic, navigating through gizmos) we have no time to enjoy the finer details! Are we really working more now, or did we work more back then? How the hell has man managed to double his time, but halve its availability?!

All of a sudden the world at large has no time or value for civilities. Like, when did sending a response to an email or message straight away start being the symbol of low value work?  Or when did answering the phone within two rings start meaning the person has nothing better to do?! When did arriving for a meeting on time become unfashionable and when did being “fashionably late” become acceptable? When did it become ok to not respond to a personal message on the pretext of being busy? When exactly did “Soft Skills” even become a thing?!?! I thought we were all brought up to be polite? When did that change to become a degree holding certification? Why is it that we all make time for the person who is rude enough to not respond?

The truth is that we live in the cult of busy! “I’m Busy” is the humble brag instead of actually being a stress indicator! Flaunting how busy you are makes you seem important, or no less than the next person. It is not how much time people have than how they see it. Time is money has equated time with money. And because time is financially quantified, people worry more about wasting, saving or using them profitably. The more one earns the more valuable ones time. And the more valuable one’s time, the scarcer it gets! So in reality, being busy can make you rich, but being rich makes you feel busier still.

Everyone everywhere is running, running, running, but to where? For what? From what? I find people thinking (much to my chagrin) that a jam packed schedule speaks volumes about their value as a person so you find them filling their day with mundane tasks to give the appearance of being incredibly busy!  Honestly, I am constantly piqued by the insensitivity of people who hide behind the “busy” card to cover their arrogance, insecurity and plain lack of sensitivity! If you ask me, going on about how busy you are isn’t even a conversation! It just gets the listener bored, or worse, peeved. Quite frankly, it is the people who are legitimately occupied ”“ with their work, or family, or art, or what-have-you””rarely play the “too busy” card, or go out of their way to make time for meaningful connection exactly because they’ve been busy.

People are trading their time for all sorts of things, but has the exchange been worth it?  Are we better off being time-rich have-nots than time-poor haves? Man, despite being super connected has never been more lonely! All this “too busy” talk has made each one weary of reaching out to the next! Time is not money”¦. Time is what we make of it. Life on the other hand has a use by date. You will never be as young as you are today! Enjoy life. Make others feel important. People will not remember you by how valuable your time was but how valuable you made them feel”¦ simple timeless truth

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