I once worked with a guy who gloried in being too busy. Once when I asked him how he was doing, he shook his head and said, “Too busy to breathe.” Since he did not fall down dead at that moment, I assumed he was being hyperbolic. And I also assumed if he were too busy to breathe, then he was too busy to answer my questions on his wellbeing. So I felt that I no longer had to participate in his race to be the busiest, most put-upon person on campus. I don’t think I ever inquired again.
People are busy; I don’t dispute that. But I have lost all patience with those who see being busy as some sort of badge of commitment, productivity, or even holiness. These are the folks who don’t even ask how you are because they have immediately launched into a list of things that on their plates. They are the ones that greet every moment of fun they see with statements such as “I wish I had time to fool around like that.”
But the problem with such an attitude, besides the fact that it drives people crazy, is that it’s wrong. People who approach their jobs with joy are just as, if not more, productive. And the days seem to go by a little faster and a little lighter when you look for the fun in your job. Fun should not be added on to the end of the day (or a life) as some sort of accessory. Fun should be in the middle of everyday.
People don’t have to decide between being productive and having fun. Both can be achieved at the same time. I type this dressed as a gypsy. One of the librarians is the Cat in the Hat. And another is a French sailor. Students have enjoyed the scene. We’ve laughed at each other. But we’re still getting our jobs done. Actually with a little better attitude than on some days.
Whether we approach our jobs as martyrs or joy seekers, we still have the same work to do. My recommendation: go the fun route when possible. Life is too short for anything else.