Busyness is bad business

When you think about it, you realise that the ultimate goal of education is to make one be at peace with oneself and the world, nothing more. However, this goal will never be attained without appreciating the value of time and avoiding time wasters. It is the failure to appreciate the value of time early that often results in desperation, frustration, depression and death.

If those who are desperate, frustrated and depressed had used their time well, their situations would have been different. If those who attempt and commit suicide had realised how quickly the past becomes present and the present dissolves into the future, they would have engaged in productive activities that would guarantee them security against the harsh reality they run away from.

Time is the longest phenomenon because it is the measured eternity. Yet, the common parlance among many people today, including students, is to complain of being busy or having no time. Everyone is busy, it appears, including those chatting online all the time and those playing games on their cell phones, i-pads and other hand-held devices!

In our higher institutions and places of work, there is the “aye o po” (there is no time) syndrome by which people complain of having so much to do. However, when you ask them of the outcome of what keeps them busy, there is often nothing concrete to show for it.

Each day, everyone is credited with the same number of seconds, minutes and hours. The fortune or misfortune of all depends on the use of time as no one has a 25th hour of the day. While some people maximize the use of the available time and achieve outstanding results, others are just busy.

Being busy is not necessarily the point; the point is what keeps one busy. In fact, being busy  may actually suggest being under Satan’s yoke, if care is not taken. What is always desirable is to be productive, to make one’s time count. The acid test of determining whether time goes into business or busyness lies in determining the outcome of each activity: is it relevant to the life here or the afterlife?

While the literal meaning of “busyness” is the state or condition of having a great deal to do or the quality of being full of activity or busy, its deeper meaning is “time spent doing unnecessary or unproductive things”. This is exactly what Peter Ducker alluded to when he said there is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.

Business, on the other hand, is the primary assignment at hand. At every point in time, we have our primary assignment, including that which we set for ourselves to achieve. Your business may be study, teaching, trading or self-development. Business adds a certain quality to your life or living. Being in business is beautiful; being in busyness is ugly.

Therefore, to be in better control of your time and achieve peace of mind, there is need to identify and minimize time that gets swallowed by busyness. The modern age has especially gadgetised us so much that at every point in time, everyone is holding their phone doing something that is not necessary, like playing games, downloading songs, posting or clicking photos and chatting for nothing.

In 2019, you can avoid the bad business of busyness by shunning procrastination, which is said to be the thief of time. Whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing on time. You can begin each day by starting to do the work that you dread. This is what Mark Twain’s famous quote of eating a live frog means. He said, “Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you the rest of the day.”

Then, though internet access is now cheap, it is often costly to be online 24 hours a day, especially when your business does not revolve around it. There will always be information and updates but you may end up doing nothing and achieving nothing. The same thing applies to the social media, which is a big distraction when it is not about business.

Let much of your time go to business, your primary assignment. Remember that busyness is bad business.

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