Pat Katz Pat Katz




PAUSE – 17.06 – Is Busy The New Rich And Famous?

Reflection: What do you think? Is a crazy busy life with no time to spare the new status symbol in North America?

Sadly enough, that just may be the case! Several recent pieces of research found that we now admire and hold in higher esteem those who present themselves as overloaded and run off their feet.

In one experiment, participants read letters from a fictional friend. In Letter A he complained about being crazy busy with no time to relax and watch TV. In Letter B he described himself as relaxed, spending time watching sports on TV. Readers ranked the busy friend twice as high on a scale of wealth and social status as they ranked the more leisurely friend.

Another study explored reactions to those who posted social media ‘humblebrag complaints’ about how hard they were working and how little time they had for themselves. The ‘over-extenders’ were perceived as having a higher social status and greater socioeconomic wealth than those who posted about their leisure pursuits.

The underlying danger in this mindset of adulation is that we aspire to what we admire.

When we admire busyness, overload, and overwhelm, we set up a situation in which we welcome more of that into our lives at the potential expense of our health and wellbeing.

Repeated research has shown that time out and time off for renewal are essential to our long-term well-being. And, that they actually enhance our productivity and creativity.


Action: Pay attention to how you view reports of busy, busy, busy in the lives of others. Note how often you are tempted to shine a spotlight on your own hectic pace.

Give your attention, applause, and adulation to a full range of behaviours that includes down time, time out, and time off.


Quotes Of The Week:

Beware the barrenness of a busy life. – Socrates

Nothing easier than to confuse busyness with goodness. – Mason Cooley

Pausing for renewal is an investment in being able to continue, not a reward for being done. – Patricia Katz


Resources Of The Week:

See this link for the complete Harvard Business School article: Having No Life Is The New Aspirational Lifestyle.

Here’s a pertinent article from the Pause Article Archive: Are You Fluent In The Language Of Haste?


Readers Write:

In response to It’s Never Too Late To Appreciate, Pause reader LE writes: Every day should be employee appreciation day. I believe that we should show our appreciation as much as possible and compliment people (even if we don’t know them) sincerely. Your three points are good for the general population as well as employees. Treating an individual with care and interest causes ripples and impacts of which even we may be unaware.


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Life Balance, Life in General, Overload & Overwhelm, Pause E-zines, Wellness

2 Responses to “PAUSE – 17.06 – Is Busy The New Rich And Famous?”

  1. Maureen Haddock

    This was a new thought for me! I hadn’t considered busyness being equated with success.
    I am drawn to happy people who exhibit enthusiasm and love. I find that many happy people lead busy lives but always have time to help others. Perhaps busyness is only a perception. I love your quote about pausing for renewal being an investment! Agreed!

  2. Pat Katz

    Thanks for your comment, Maureen. Yes, I’ve noted that many happy people lead busy lives, too. I think the key connection they’re looking at in this research is the perceived relationship between busyness and status. As in, the busier you are, the more important you must be. If/when status (i.e. – admiration/adulation from our peers) is a driver, there’s a risk people will jam their lives full ‘for show’, whether or not those activities bring them any joy at all.

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