When is busy too busy?

Jeremy Wright has published a post that asks when busy is too busy.  His schedule is incredibly busy, he says he works 12 to 16 hours a day, 7 days a week on his eight current projects.  Sure he is busy, but he says he doesn’t feel overworked.  At the same time he feels he doesn’t spend nearly enough time with his family.  So, as he puts it –

the real question is “when is busy too busy???

I have a couple projects on the go at the moment as well which I work on, in addition to my day job (which has kept me unusually busy the last couple weeks).  I return home from work at around 18:00 or so and then find myself behind my PC at around 19:00 or 20:00 until around 23:00 or midnight.  While those are hardly the longest hours ever, it amounts to a fairly long day for me, especially when I do it several nights in a row.

The difficulty I have with this schedule is that I rarely have the time to do many of the things that are pretty important to me.  I don’t meditate nearly as often as I would like to; spend quality time with G (not to mention friends and family) or read books.  I think the answer to Jeremy’s question is that busy is too busy when we don’t make enough time for the really important things in our lives, whatever those things are.  We all know what they are.

In my case I also believe that there are things I could do to make more of my time.  For one thing, structure would probably make a big difference.  If I structured my time better and knew that on certain days I would spend X amount of time on particular projects, then I would have blocks of time to do what is important to me.  For me, it really requires a measure of structure and discipline and hey presto, time for important stuff.

As an aside, isn’t it interesting that when we spend time doing the things we are passionate about, we rarely feel overworked (even as we totally exhaust ourselves in the process)?


I just read a comment on Jeremy’s post that encapsulates some of my thoughts in this topic.  They were posted by Kevin Humphrey:

I’m working 12-16 hours a day, 7 days a week just like you right now, but I’m finally working at building something for myself instead of working FOR someone else.

I’m having a blast, the days fly by and I’m more energized than I’ve been in years. I think it all depends on what you’re busy with.

I couldn’t do this this way if I had kids or a wife who didn’t believe in me. Then I’d need to balance it in another way. Everyone’s situation is going to be different.


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