Busyness is an anti-change agent

Words can’t really express what a profound conversation we had last week in the community conversation about busyness, co-hosted with Rowan Gray. The session was aimed at exploring the connection between busyness, non-busyness and change through an experiment using movement.

The nature of experiential and experimental work makes it hard to summarise the session, so I am sharing some of the insights and questions that arose through the conversation in the hope they might spark your curiosity about busyness, your relationship to busyness and the connection to change.



having a great deal to do.

“he had been too busy to enjoy himself”

Opposite: idle

  • How does busyness serve us? – money, status, being seen to be busy, keeping organised, keeping feelings we don’t want to feel at bay.
  • How does busyness limit us? – it exhausts us, exhaustion is a defence against change, focus on doing instead of being.
  • How does keeping ourselves busy keep us from connecting with what we really want? Realising our full power is scary.
  • Would I be so busy if no one was watching?
  • If too busy and not busy enough are ends of a polarity, how to I recognise when I am at the end points? And how do I maintain the dynamic balance?
  • Burnout is a systemic issue, and being ok with being busy all the time is one of the myths that is part of this. What other organisational myths are we buying into?
  • What happens when we are not busy enough? Shame, disconnect, withdrawal, don’t know what to do, not stepping onto our full power.
  • We can’t entertain anything different without S-P-A-C-E to entertain what might be different, and that is scary – not being busy is an act of courage! And yet, when we make space to not be busy, we gain clarity and perspective that is not possible in the rush of being busy.

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