The epidemic of busyness

Gianna Caravetta | Opinion Editor | @giannacara

“The funny thing about busy people is that they always have time to tell you they’re busy.”

Catholic speaker and self-professed Bible geek Mark Hart’s sentiment sure hits me between the eyes, especially at the beginning of this new semester. We all have so much on our plates, from school to work to extracurriculars. It is a great balancing act to live intentionally in each of these avenues of your life.

The thing about busyness is that it’s a logical fallacy, an excuse really. We say we’re too busy, but really what we’re saying is that we can’t quite prioritize our lives. Maybe we aren’t aware that that’s the implication of busyness, but it reads clearly in our actions.

We live in a rapid-paced technology age in which we allot most of our extra time across social media platforms. We choose to spend that extra 20 minutes on Instagram to see if anything is new and exciting while we scroll through our feeds. We give props to those who don’t have certain social media, knowing deep down they have the secret to balance. According to a recent study released by the Council for Research Excellence, our eyes are focused on a screen for more hours in a day than we spend sleeping, approximately 8 1/2 hours. Wow.

If you’re one of the few whose phone doesn’t distract you, maybe it’s too many commitments and so little time for them all. Consider this: there are 86,400 seconds in the day. Each and every second is invaluable. Having so many seconds in a day is similar to having a bank account that refreshes daily, in which you receive a lump sum of $86,400. Now, if you had that much money daily, and you knew it would be depleted at the end of the day, you surely would spend every waking moment, every dollar of that day.

Whatever it is that accounts for busyness in your life, remember that prioritizing is the key to a successful balance. Of course, self care is also crucial and non-negotiable. We each need time to be alone, to reflect, and to escape the chaos of our everyday lives. You also have to know which rules to follow and which ones to break. Homework, projects, and most other commitments are not some of those rules to break.

Personally, I’ve taken the word ‘busy’ out of my vocabulary. I’m aware that the words I speak and write have immeasurable power, so I make the conscious effort to choose them wisely. Except for the rare occasion, I don’t allow myself to give this excuse. Instead, I choose to hold myself accountable and prioritize my life.

Let’s be a people of greatness, after all, we are all made for so much more than settling for mediocrity. Let’s choose to live our lives with intentionality and whimsy, not careless distraction or mindless activity.

I challenge you to be honest with yourself and with others. Are we really too busy?

It sure is a work in progress, a struggle to keep ourselves honest above all else, but, in the end, there is so much joy in the journey.