18 Responses to “Curb the Busyness of Business”


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  1. Great article! A simple thing I do when I’m working is have one program open at a time (and all programs I use have notifications of any kind turned OFF). That way if I’m working on something, I’m focused on it — no beeps, popups, bounces, alerts, etc.

  2. Great article and I get your point entirely. Many stay busy at busy and avoid important because it is easier.
    One comment about avoiding the boring or the routine – the trash still needs taken out. To think we are too good to take the mundane along with the brilliant is to negate true life. Day to day business is a part of life, or to put it another way the weeds form the compost for the flowers.

    Dan @ ZenPresence

  3. Oh, Courtney. Your list of busy work seems like a lot of ‘shoulds’ – I should go to this meeting because…and, for me, that often leads to stress. When I take care of the Good Work list items – exercise, learning, creating, I am less likely to mind the day to day business that Dan mentions. I can use those tasks as a form of meditation to clear my head and get back to the Good Work. Thanks for writing.

  4. Ali

    Loved this post Courtney – great timing for me. Thank you.

  5. I resonate with this message, Courtney. Especially, “Busy work is what you do when you are afraid of your good work.” And, sometimes you don’t even realize it!

  6. Ramona

    Another astute post Courtney. Your writing is so spot on and immensely inspiring! Thank you.

  7. Yes, yes, yes! I must say that having to “look busy” all the time was one of the most unproductive things about being employed. My end came when I had a boss who wanted me to be at my desk from 8-5 every day so he could be satisfied that I was working. Never mind the fact that the there were soooo many more efficient ways to actually get the work done! This may sound counter-intuitive, but when your job is to brainstorm with musicians to help them come up with new and exciting classes to offer to the public, it’s much more effective to simply “hang out” and chat about what musical things they’re really excited about than it is to spend hours on the phone hounding them over which classes they’d like to offer for the upcoming quarter.

    Now that I “work” for myself (“work” in quotes because it doesn’t really feel like work anymore) I get to simply cut to the chase and do the stuff that matters, is fun and creates results. No more reports or political BS!

    BTW – are you serious that “shipping” is something you consider to be “good work?” I mean, if you’re in the business of selling things it is a necessary evil, but back in my online bookseller days fulfilling shipping orders was something I did as a brainless activity to start each day before I was fully conscious!

    • Courtney Carver

      by shipping, I meant sending your ideas/business/work into the world and not actually putting something in the mail. Sorry, should have clarified!

  8. I chose to give up office work in favour of being a self-employed massage therapist in 2011. Business has built up slowly and I now don’t have cash to splurge on shopping in lunch breaks and weekends like I used to. THe good news is that I don’t really need to because now my to do list is full of things that I know will improve my wellbeing, outlook, living/working environment and relationships with those I love! I decided not to be busy and try and do everything. Some people think I’m lazy because I think multi-tasking is ineffective. Some people thrive on it, but I know I do not. I need time for reflection and now I have it! Thanks for this lovely article, may it change many people’s lives :)

    • Sue

      Sha Sha, your comment resonnated with me. I too left the “glamour” of data/statistical office work to return to school. I wanted to be able to offer massage therapist, in conjunction with me healing touch/ quantum touch.
      I love what I do and do what I love now…
      and I don’t need “retail” therapy to help me cope with life’s demands.
      I hear a totally different drum and wake up grateful every morning, glad I have the opportunity to work with clients and those beginning their healing journey.
      My best to you!

  9. Sorry I should have explained that I used to shop as a way of comforting myself :)

  10. Courtney, All I can say is…Amen.

    It IS possible, and we ARE good enough. WE can come up with new ideas ourselves. I love my job, and hate the nonsense….so I am going out in the world and doing it myself. It is sad that jobs “morph” into drags. I am counting down the days until I can utilize every hour of my life to its fullest. Can’t wait!!

  11. great post – great reminder what’s really important. Good work vs. busy work!

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