Tim Kreider wrote a brilliant piece in the NYTimes called, “The Busy Trap”, which I guarantee you are not too busy to read, and you’ll be glad you did!
It’s wise and well written and raises a great point, which is that these days our busyness is largely self-imposed, and being “too busy” is a boast disguised as a complaint that “makes you feel important, sought-after and put-upon.”
But my favorite bit in the article, and I do hope you’ll go read the whole thing, is this:
Idleness is not just a vacation, an indulgence or a vice; it is as indispensable to the brain as vitamin D is to the body, and deprived of it we suffer a mental affliction as disfiguring as rickets. The space and quiet that idleness provides is a necessary condition for standing back from life and seeing it whole, for making unexpected connections and waiting for the wild summer lightning strikes of inspiration — it is, paradoxically, necessary to getting any work done. “Idle dreaming is often of the essence of what we do,” wrote Thomas Pynchon in his essay on sloth. Archimedes’ “Eureka” in the bath, Newton’s apple, Jekyll & Hyde and the benzene ring: history is full of stories of inspirations that come in idle moments and dreams. It almost makes you wonder whether loafers, goldbricks and no-accounts aren’t responsible for more of the world’s great ideas, inventions and masterpieces than the hardworking.
Rock on! I’m going to knock off work now and go be idle. How about you?