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Balancing act: Do you think busyness is a virtue?

Published: Tuesday, April 23 2013 7:00 a.m. MDT

I, on the other hand, have been guilty of playing the busy card. In fact, I probably do it too often.

Choi writes that, when people ramble on about being too busy, they're often engaging in doublespeak. She suggests that what they're really saying is that they matter, or that they're "super-important."

Others may use their claims of busyness as an excuse, Choi writes. "This is one of the easiest outs for stuff I don't want to do," such people are saying. "Alternatively, I've spent a lot of time being distracted or stuck, but this excuse allows me to feel OK with it."

Those who complain loudly about being "crazy busy" also may be saying they're afraid, Choi writes. Or, perhaps worst of all, they may be feeling guilty.

"There’s fulfilling, meaningful stuff that I actually do want to do but I can rationalize it away instead of confronting challenges or changing direction," Choi writes that this latter group is saying. "Alternatively, I think being busy is such a valuable quality that I’ll overbook myself to the point where I feel guilty for not getting to everything or for spending time on anything that doesn’t fit into a limited definition of 'productive.'"

I know people who are clearly saying all of these things when they tell me they're busy. Do you?

But if the trouble begins with "the worship of busyness," as Choi writes, what can we do about it? How can we fill our time with meaning instead of just filling our time?

Choi has some ideas about that, too, but I'd like to hear from you before talking about them. Do you ever catch yourself prattling on about how busy you are? What are you really saying to those who hear you? What have you done to combat this problem, or what do you think could help?

Please let me know, and I'll share some of your ideas when I revisit this issue in a future column.

Email your comments to kratzbalancingact@gmail.com or post them online at deseretnews.com. Follow me on Twitter at gkratzbalancing or on Facebook on my journalist page.

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