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Being “Too Busy” is Only a Myth

Smriti Rai | December 11, 2020
Being “Too Busy” is Only a Myth

While I try and add to the ‘to-do list’ on my mind—remembering all the things that I forgot to do once I’m in bed—I sometimes wonder, “Phew! What a busy day it was.”

Growing old is mandatory but growing up can be completely optional! Transitioning between the two determines our reality based on our perception.

The question here really is, “What am I busy about? Is it the family, the career, social obligations?” As if to further add to the din, I wonder, “Does the competition lie with the ants or the bees? Do I hold the placard for climate change, saving the endangered species, preparing children for the Olympics, self-improvement, social services?” Well these questions need to be contemplated upon.

It is one frenzied state of affairs

I am so ‘extremely’ engaged in living my life that I am actually forgetting to live one! What makes me more anxious is the fact that while gadgets expand their reach, we as humans are contracting and withdrawing into a shell.

Between being lost in daily chores, preparing for my forthcoming lessons as a teacher, putting presentations together, ensuring I am keeping pace with assignment corrections, entangled between my smartphones, my laptop, the TV and even hearing someone commanding Alexa to play a song, I run one busy schedule.

And in this frenzied state of affairs, I forget to look up at the stars, the moon, the sun, and the rain while I show the northern lights on YouTube to my son. I am often overcome by a sense of regret at not having set aside enough time to make him ponder upon that sunrise appearing over the hill. At times, I even overlook discussing with him the new book I’d just read.

For social media, I have ample time

I will let you in on a little secret. I have saved people’s phone numbers in my mobile just to make sure I can avoid their calls. I have muted people’s social media statuses. I have been deliberately procrastinating spending quality time with my friends, family and colleagues, and sometimes even missing an important meeting. And this is all because I assume I lack time.

However, on the same right, I have been able to dedicate ‘ample’ amounts of time to social media. I am often so dedicated in my social media pursuits that I wonder if am inching towards being labelled a stalker – liking, commenting and wishing my Facebook friends with great zeal. However, these good wishes are not always whole hearted but I try and encourage them in their endeavours that they want the world to know about them. I have had enough time to sleep carelessly, binge watch movies, cook elaborately, and gossip extensively!

Each moment I spend with my child, I am busy recording it on my device for fear of missing out. This impulse has, on occasion, driven my child to assert, “Stop recording and watch me do it.” That’s when I realise it is important to disconnect in order to connect.

Acnowledging the issue at hand

I reckon that probably with the right amount of rigour and time management, I will learn to prioritise better. I will be a part of the change, enhance myself, participate more in community activities, not duplicate recipes from Google and YouTube, and probably even aspire to climb Mount Everest. It is a bit too much I agree, but I truly believe that being too busy is just a myth. It is perhaps more an exercise in prioritising that I must strive towards.

The words of Lily Tomlin ring clear: “Even if you win the rat race you are still a rat.”

Smriti Rai

Smriti is currently teaching in the Department of Mass Communication and Journalism at St. Joseph’s College, Darjeeling. A reader, dreamer, movie buff and drama fan, she draws inspiration from everything around her including the spider climbing the wall. Currently pursuing her PhD from Central University of Sikkim, research has given Smriti a new dimension to life and has added a different approach to her thinking, she says. Smriti dreams of making an avantgarde Nepali film which will be etched in the history of Nepali cinema forever.

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