The ‘Busy’ Trap – NYTimes.com

The 'Busy' Trap - NYTimes.com

The ‘Busy’ Trap – NYTimes.com.

An opinion piece from the NYT which makes the case for downtime. It is a great read for my money this long weekend.

The author discusses how busy everyone is these days saying:

Busyness serves as a kind of existential reassurance, a hedge against emptiness; obviously your life cannot possibly be silly or trivial or meaningless if you are so busy, completely booked, in demand every hour of the day.

He is a writer, happy to give his chosen profession and presumably those of all knowedge workers,  a limited importance in the world:

More and more people in this country no longer make or do anything tangible; if your job wasn’t performed by a cat or a boa constrictor in a Richard Scarry book I’m not sure I believe it’s necessary.

He has made a personal choice of valuing time over money and mourns that a simple invitation becomes a prelude to the real thing in  busy world:

I recently wrote a friend to ask if he wanted to do something this week, and he answered that he didn’t have a lot of time but if something was going on to let him know and maybe he could ditch work for a few hours. I wanted to clarify that my question had not been a preliminary heads-up to some future invitation; this was the invitation. But his busyness was like some vast churning noise through which he was shouting out at me, and I gave up trying to shout back over it.

At the end of the day, he argues that we all need our downtime:

Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets.

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