Only Lazy People are Busy

My wife usually wants to know how my day was when I walk into the house. I used to say, somewhat triumphantly, busy. Now I cringe when I hear the word slip out of my mouth. I’ve actually tried to annihilate it from my vocabulary. For me, busy is bad. I never want to be busy again. 

Like most people, I used to associate busy with important, successful, or influential. It’s politicians, CEOs, or Entrepreneurs that are busy, but that’s really not the case. 

My fresh perspective on busy came when I heard this mysterious C.S. Lewis quote:

Only lazy people are busy.”

What in the world does that mean? That’s what I was thinking the first time I heard it too. It means, that people who don’t get focused and control of their day will constantly be tossed by the demands of others, moving frantically from task to triviality. They drift like a tired ship at sea, battered by the waves of the urgent.

After, seeing the wisdom of the quote, I started asking new questions like, what should my day look like? How do I eliminate busyness? Slowly, I put some healthy boundaries in place like, turning off all notifications on my iPhone and Mac, creating 90 minutes blocks of un-interuptible time, eating lunch at noon everyday, and doing my most important work in the morning. Once I got control of my day the flourishing began.

My day was still full of plenty of activities, responsibilities, and tasks – but I’m not frantic. Not in the least. The word for it is, methodical. My day has a method. A structure. I’ve become less distractible and more focused. I took the reigns of my day and something organically took shape. I started leaving my office at the end of the day feeling not frantic or frazzled, but fulfilled

In fact, that’s basically what I say when my wife asks me how my day was, I say, it was full. What I means is I filled it full. It was fulfilling. 

So, I’d like to humbly add a companion quote to C.S. Lewis’s insight. Again his reads:

“Only lazy people are busy.” 

mine:

“Only focused people are fulfilled.”

Try that on for size. Wear it around. See what you think. Put it into practice.