MUSIC, LEADERSHIP, CULTURE… and humor (sometimes)

busy-ness

most of us (if we’re honest) actually like being busy.  that’s right.  we can complain all we want about the gazillion emails we have to check and feign the dread we feel upon a glance at our packed schedules — but the truth is, we probably would have it no other way.  sure, you can talk all you want about how badly you need a vacation and take the occasional day off to refuel but it’s probably hard to unplug for too long.

that’s because we’ve all been programmed to value productivity over anything else.

productivity gives us a sense of meaning, like we’re actually doing something worthwhile with our lives.

we’ve been programmed like robots to work till kingdom come and all the while, we’re losing sight of what’s truly important: fruitfulness.  Translation: things that last.

we mistake busy-ness for productivity and productivity for the meaning of life.

what does fruitfulness look like today?  in a word, relationships.  in another word, memories.

is your life yielding meaningful relationships and memories?

at the end of the day these are the things that last.  if you’re too busy being “productive,” i can almost promise you that you’re missing out on the greatest joys in life.  nothing wrong with hard work but some of us need to make a change.

when you look back on your life, i doubt you’re gonna fondly remember all the hours you spent on your emails or the great meetings that you led.  you’re going to remember things that made you laugh, cry and joyful all over.  you’re going to remember the times you put someone before something.

what do i want on my tombstone? pepperoni and sausage.  but when i die, give me: “a man who was consumed with love”

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8 responses

  1. right on. always a good reminder

    January 12, 2010 at 10:27 am

  2. useyourhed

    I’ll be the first to confess – I LIKE being busy. And productive.

    And I heartily agree that the push for productivity, busyness, drive…all these things often take priority over more important things for many people.

    But what’s the flip side of productivity? Laziness?

    Couldn’t one also argue that many productive people – if they’re hard at work in their jobs, that they are also hard at work in their relationships? I hardly think it’s a fair to “promise” that people “busy being productive” are also “missing out on the greatest joys.” That’s a huge value statement.

    One could also argue that many “unproductive” people are also “unproductive” in relationships. Laziness heeds fruitfulness? How does that work? This is obviously the other extreme (of what you seem to be addressing in this post)…

    January 12, 2010 at 11:21 am

  3. DK

    thanks for stopping by Jeffro!

    @amy – good points. i guess i’ve seen some really bad examples of people living very “productive” lives with messed-up home situations and, from what i could tell, had a major lack of meaningful friendships. some of our dads fit this description. forgive my generalities but it’s rooted in personal experience! my posts are never comprehensive so thanks for presenting the other side.

    January 12, 2010 at 11:43 am

  4. useyourhed

    True that! I’m a daddy-wounded girl.

    I come in peace.

    January 12, 2010 at 12:15 pm

  5. forgefitness

    i’m gonna agree (hello! i never comment on this thing, but i swear i read it!) with daniel and amy…but in different circumstances…

    for many, they equate productivity with tangible accomplishments and to-do lists. however, for many others they don’t have another option. of course my view on this is biased (but also supported) by my own circumstances. right now, productivity for me equates to tangible success. to be unproductive in grad school (i.e. to fail) is to be irresponsible with what i’ve been blessed with.

    i also agree with the “dad’s” response from DK. however, i look at my workaholic, socially awkward, father who travels to china for 2 weeks at a time every 4-6 weeks for business (this is not an exaggeration). he has chosen this “productivity” though to allow my mom to switch to part time work to free up her afternoons so she can provide free babysitting so that my sister can go back to work.

    on the other hand, i used to equate productivity with how much i could get done and how busy i seemed. it was easier that way. people thought i was such a good “servant” by being so busy, but in reality i was turning into a stone-cold bastard (this is when i was coaching in the EDGE).

    i think the point is to look at the heart behind the matter. to take either extreme stance is to be too superficial about it.

    January 12, 2010 at 12:19 pm

  6. DK

    @neville – I knew there was someone engaging in some major ghost-reading on my blog and it was YOU! j/k… you’re definitely not alone. great point about this being about the heart of the matter.

    @everyone – i’m also coming from a church-leader (pastor) point of view. of course there are times when we need to buckle down and be “productive” — emails, meetings, creative planning, etc. Not knocking on that at all. It is my belief, however, that my “success” should be measured in how “busy” i am with loving others… and if i’m spending all my time in the office, there is something amiss. i also suck when i go home and choose to do work when i could be hugging my son and kissing my wife.

    Fruitfulness looks more foolish and seems like a waste of time compared to some of our varying definitions of productivity but i’m merely stating my advocacy toward this sort of lifestyle. Definitely not an either-or scenario. It’s rather… (wait for it)… both AND.

    January 12, 2010 at 12:35 pm

  7. A few things I’d like to add to the discussion here…

    1. DK, if you’re coming from a church leader/pastor slant, you should let that be known. Shout it to the heavens 😉 Some people’s jobs require a certain amount unnecessary and non-relational business that they can’t help. As far as church employment goes, I completely agree. But how is loving people measured?
    2. Some people value jobs that require them to work 60-70 hours a week and not have time for relationships outside of work. I don’t and thus and have some different values. I feel like I’m learning more and more that everyone has different values…and sometimes busyness is a value and I dont know if that’s wrong, just different. What ya think?
    3. Lastly, outside of the ministry world, people don’t always have the opportunity to invest in the meaningful relationships and memories as a part of their job responsibilities (which is a damn shame). But, their jobs may require them to be extremely busy…what do those people do? I think your reminder is that they can focus what little time they have on their relationships.

    great discussions…word

    January 12, 2010 at 6:36 pm

  8. DK

    kevin- thanks for chiming in. I agree with you. Busy-ness is not wrong, especially when one is doing whatever is necessary to put a roof over their family’s heads and food on the table. Busy-ness in this instance is a necessity. I wasn’t getting at that in my post.

    However, there are instances where people have a choice as to how “busy” they are… people with jobs that have a little more autonomy (i.e. church workers, etc). In these situations, busy-ness is a choice… it can (i’m not saying it is) also be an escape, an alternate reality, and/or a subconscious search for a feeling of significance. i’ve seen this in my own life as well as others.

    For the record: Hard work/productivity is not bad. It is in fact good. Necessary. Some of us (with power and choice) just overdo it at the expense of our families, relationships and health.

    January 12, 2010 at 9:59 pm

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