Nigel's Blog

Hemmed In By Busyness

October 04, 2018

Busyness is strangely energising (hence the adage ‘want something done? Give it to the busy person’). But the energy it provides has a narrower and narrower field of visions. Busyness hems me in.

What do I mean?

My experience of being (too?) busy at work and in life is that I have energy to react to my circumstances, but not enough energy to change course or think outside my circumstances. Yes it’s true - the more you pull a sling-shot back the further it will fire - but it will only ever fire forwards. Busyness keeps you on the straight and narrow in the same way - unable to look up and unable to look around but justable to keep going (sometimes without thinking).

It is almost guaranteed that busyness will kill your creativity as a result. Or put it another way: if you are feeling uncreative then it may be that you are too busy and need some headspace (I know I’m beginning to have a good holiday when I start thinking about new things or start being stimulated in my thinking).

Which is not to say that the focus provided by busyness can’t be harnessed for good - but it needs occasional disruptions. And the problem with most workplaces is that they keep you just busy enough that you don’t have time to think. Which itself makes you a worse worker. Left to their own devices, busy workers will become under performing workers.

Nigel Gordon

Hi. I'm Nigel Gordon and here are my musings on business, investing, startups and growth. Follow me on Twitter