20 Signs You May Be the Bad Kind of Busy

Doesn’t it seem that when a young professional (YP) is asked, “So, what are you up to these days?” or “How have you been?” the go-to answer for so many of us is an exhausted, “Oh, I’m so busy!” A common correlation appears to have been created amongst today’s YPs, between being “busy” and being “successful,” but is this really the case? While it’s true that hard work, perseverance and giving 110%, and all those other motivational clichés, do help people reach success, there is also such thing as being too busy.

We’re are all about working toward a balanced young professional lifestyle: working hard, playing hard, and doing what we can to better our world. An important, and often overlooked part of that balance, however, is also making room for downtime, you-time, self-care time.

During the holiday season especially, when our level of busyness can reach an all-time high, it’s important that we learn to recognize the difference between good (happy and productive) busy, and bad (here comes burnout) busy. Here are some signs that you may be the bad kind of busy:  

1. Your mornings are always hell. You rarely wake up feeling rested.  
2. You use your phone in the shower.
3. The main purpose of mealtimes is no longer about eating, but about a million other things.
4. You’ve become unnaturally good at “holding it” because bathroom breaks are a rare occasion.
5. You’re constantly searching for your stuff: your keys, your gloves, your phone, etc.
6. You have a growing pile of speeding tickets due to continuously being in a rush.
7. You’re never ahead of schedule.
8. You regularly miss, postpone, or completely forego health-related appointments.
9. You’re gaining weight and feeling unhealthy.
10. Your pet is gaining weight and acting unruly.
11. Certain pals don’t even bother asking to hangout anymore.
12. You use the word “busy” in nearly every response to questions about yourself.
13. You haven’t taken a non-business trip since Spring Break 2007.
14. You can never get your mind completely off your commitments, even during sex.
15. You and your office are clean, but your home is a disaster.
16. Your tolerance level for life’s daily annoyances is getting lower by the day.
17. Changes in your schedule and last-minute favour requests send you over the edge.
18. You spend zero time being spiritual.
19. You spend a ton of time worrying about how to organize your time.
20. Reaching a big goal doesn’t end up feeling as good or satisfying as you thought it would.

If you identify with any number of these points, you may just be the bad kind of busy. Living in a state of perpetual busyness may give you the impression that you are on the road to success, when in fact you may be on the path to burnout.

For more info on the dangers of overworking and overplaying, as well as tips on how to get your life back in balance, check out this rich list of past Notable articles:

Taking Time Off to Work on You

Avoiding Career Burnout

Let’s Get Physical: The Other Signs of YP Burnout

The Ups and Downs of Downtime 

The Fine Balance Between Routine and Randomness

Are You Still a Weekend Warrior? 

Need Sleep? Here’s How to Shut Off Your Brain 

Make the Most of Limited Vacation Time 

Go Screen Free for One Day a Week

Career Related Illnesses and How to Avoid Them

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