The Busy Trap

Tim Kreider:

But just in the last few months, I’ve insidiously started, because of professional obligations, to become busy. For the first time I was able to tell people, with a straight face, that I was “too busy” to do this or that thing they wanted me to do. I could see why people enjoy this complaint; it makes you feel important, sought-after and put-upon. Except that I hate actually being busy.

This is something I’ve been struggling to come to terms with in recent weeks and months; I have been working from home and incredibly not-busy with my job recently—guess why I’m blogging during normal business hours—and honestly, deep down I don’t mind this at all. But there’s a certain guilt that arises from this situation, the sense that, Christ, I am not contributing meaningfully to my company, and I am going to get the sack any minute. This is especially bad when your yearly performance review includes a discussion of “chargeability”—literally how many hours you’ve spent on making money for the firm.

I hate software consulting.