January 27, 2021

Busy Work

Busy work scheduled yesterday.


Busy work scheduled today.


Busy work scheduled for tomorrow.


Busy work scheduled for the foreseeable future.


Not that there isn't work to do, I have enough of that. But I don't need to invent more work to keep myself occupied. 

Our culture is so obsessed with avoiding the "evils of idleness" that it invents busy work. That's right - more work.


To give the appearance of doing something productive even though nothing but the appearance of work is being produced. 

Much of a modern life is taken up in busy work that does not add, but rather takes away from the enjoyment of life.

The less time spent servicing an needlessly complicated modern life, the more time for things that truly make us happy, like getting to know ourselves, and finding our place in the ecological order.

While we are banning things, how about banning busy work?

"We can keep ourselves so busy, fill our lives with so many diversions, stuff our heads with so much knowledge, involve ourselves with so many people and cover so much ground that we never have time to probe the fearful and wonderful world within... By middle life most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves."

- John W. Gardner


  1. Boy did I need this post!

  2. Anonymous1/28/2021

    To echo OMW above...I needed this as well.

  3. Quakers use the word "Unencumber" to signify a laying down or letting go of things. I'm truly living an unencumbered life. No need for busyness, just let the day unfold.

    1. Anonymous2/05/2021

      Marla, I love the word 'unencumber', how absolutely appropriate.

      I have certainly given up looking busy now that I work part-time. In fact, I unapologetically tell people I am living my dream life: pot of tea, yoga, walk dog, cook breakfast, let chooks out, potter in garden, maybe a bit of cleaning followed by more tea, a lie down on the couch with a good book, a bit of eating, a few hours paid work in the afternoon - you get the picture. What I'm not is 'busy', what I am is very lucky indeed :-)



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