We Need To Stop Glorifying 'Busy'




“Sorry for the delay in replying - work has been so busy!” I type, sitting cross-legged in a pair of pyjama bottoms, trying to make the most of a cup of tea I’ve let go cold (again) and thinking about how I can make a healthy snack out of cheese. The truth is, my day hasn’t been that busy. I woke up, made a cuppa, cleaned the house a bit, moved downstairs and started tackling my emails. And by tackling, I mean replying to those that seem most interesting and flagging the others which I will “definitely do later”.

“Busy”, in this sense, has come to mean a series of different things. It can mean “sorry for the delay in replying - I just didn’t want to”, “sorry for the delay in replying - I forgot about this email because I receive 1000 others like it” or “sorry for the delay in replying - I tried having a normal life for once and didn’t live in my inbox over the weekend”, to name a few. That sentence basically just means “I’m acknowledging that I didn’t reply in a timely manner and I will extend a sentence of social expectation to honour this”. 

And we also like people to know that we’re in demand, right? “Apologies for not coming back to you sooner - I don’t really have an excuse other than I had a raging hangover” doesn’t quite have the same ring to it as being swamped by those who want your attention. We think that by promoting the fact that we’re snowed up with comms, other people will naturally want a slice of the pie. In all honesty, who hasn’t name-dropped a huge brand that they’ve worked with when trying to bag a new campaign? Or sat in a meeting with a prospective new client and listed off some of the big player titles in the hopes of winning more business?

Blazer - Millie Mackintosh* (sold out, ASOS alternative here)
Trousers - Millie Mackintosh*
Shoes - Ego
Sunglasses - Miu Miu via Sunglasses Shop



It’s all a part of the “more more more” culture that we live in. We glorify busy. We glorify stress. The more there is, the more successful we must be. If we’re rushed off our feet with barely any time to breath, that must mean work is going well, right? We push this as far as we can - it doesn’t matter if we’re actually busy or not, we have to look like it, we have to live like it, we have to slump down in bed at the end of the day with a deep sigh or we feel like the day has been wasted.

That’s why when we post a shameless Instagram coffee shot, the caption, more often than not, will somehow relate to work. Whether it’s “office for the day - time to get shit done!” or “finally taking a break from work - trying to take some time for myself”, our fingers are itching to let everyone know how well we’re doing. It’s passive self-indulgence in all of its glory - and it’s a passive self-indulgence that is probably followed by us mindlessly scrolling through Instagram anyway, rather than being a “boss bitch”.

That’s not to say that we aren’t actually ever hard at work. But if we are, best believe that we’ll find a five minute window to upload an Insta story or tweet informing everybody of how swamped we are and why, as a result, we’ll be taking a short social media hiatus for the next two days (also known as a weekend, but something we must let people know we 100% DESERVE).


Shop the post:




FYI, I am the worst at this. I’ll put an out of office email on for when I’m on holiday, but I’ll still reply to every single email just to show how pro-active and ~ bizness ~ I am. I’ll upload a mopey face Snapchat when I’m tired, a long, drawn-out caption when I’ve been doing admin all day and a smug, filtered flat lay when I’m “finally done for the day! Phew, it’s been a tiring one!”. I can write about this now and recognise that it’s all part of this weird, social media vacuum that we’re in where social rules and expectations are all a little skewed, an observation that goes hand-in-hand with the fact that I will absolutely keep doing all of the above.

And the truth is, when it comes down to “busy”, we can all be successful and in-demand and have spare time to not run ourselves ragged. It’s about time management and being selective. Obviously this is subjective - if you’re a nurse and you’re trying to maintain a life at the same time as raising two kids and a three-legged dog, then yes, undoubtedly you are busy as fuck. But often, those in the online community - including me - busy ourselves simply for the sake of looking busy.

The ultra-busy, slightly frazzled but appealing stress that is propagated online is a masochism. It’s self-inflicted to some degree - we want to look like we’re working ourselves into the ground so everybody knows how good at our jobs we are. The issue with this is that it’s often falsified - plumped out, spruced up and blow dried for effect.

We busy ourselves out worrying about how busy we are or aren’t, and then take a well-earned 15 minute break to let everybody know how being so busy has exhausted us. Glorifying stress and “busy” encourages self-comparison (“why aren’t I getting that much work?!”), which in turn results in said person busying themselves to try and replicate this appearance and et voila - a butterfly effect.

In reality, there will always be one more thing to do and that diary clash and an inbox that refills without warning, but that’s normal life. We aren’t special in that sense. And actually, glorifying stress and being frazzled to breaking point is unhealthy, and it’s irresponsible to perpetuate the ‘busy’ myth rather than talking about good time management, prioritising and days where you do fuck all because sometimes you’re just lazy.

So here we go. Today, I went to work, came home, pulled up this blog post which I wrote last week, tidied it up, and added it alongside some photos that I took in early March and forgot about. Now, I’m going to watch the rest of Pirates of the Caribbean, neglect my emails, not bother with the washing up and go straight to sleep. No ragrets.

Until next time my lovelies x





 

11 comments

  1. Really good point here, I think you're right. Along with body comparisons and general life comparisons, social media has also provoked a lot of success and hard work comparisons. My feed is full of shots of coffee with captions relating to uni work or admin work or something to do with that, and although I still love pretty pictures of coffee (and myself do posts along the same lines) reading this has made me realise how what you've said is so true. I love social media, but it's becoming increasingly apparent how much we change our lives for the purpose of a good insta or tweet! Very interesting concept!

    JosieVictoriaa // Fashion, Travel & Lifestyle

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  2. Gorgeous shots and it is so true. I have taken a step back recently to let myself have time with friends, switch off from constantly busying myself with blog work and trying to find the perfect balance. That suit is fab too! xxx

    www.lurchhoundloves.com

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  3. I absolutely bloody love this post! You're so spot on. It all feeds into this kind of half this-is-my-real-life half but-actually-it-looks-nothing-like-this online persona we so easily fall into in the Instagram/blogging world. I'll be taking on some of your points, keep up the honesty!!

    P.S. can't figure out how to 'comment as' my blog. I'm @nadia_dailyself x

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  4. "It’s passive self-indulgence in all of its glory - and it’s a passive self-indulgence that is probably followed by us mindlessly scrolling through Instagram anyway, rather than being a “boss bitch”."

    PREACH!

    Absolutely love this post. I love your style of writing Chloe, how you bring to light all of these 'blogging cliches' and have no shame in being like "yeah, I do it too" and don't take yourself so seriously. It's incredibly refreshing and real.


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  5. I def agree with this that we have to act like we are always doing something or that we are always so glamorous but that's just not the truth!
    xo!
    www.fashionnnfreedom.com

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  6. I LOVED this post because it is just so true! You're so right, we're all guilty of doing this and there's almost a bit of shame in admitting you're taking a break or haven't been busy, almost as though not being busy amounts to failure or laziness. Social media definitely makes you feel as if you have to justify doing something for yourself - taking breaks or whatever. I definitely spend a lot of time on social media and don't see that changing any time soon, but as someone else commented, it is strange to actually sit back and think about how much social media drives us to change the way we live/view certain aspects of our lives - and the fact we feel we have to document it all! As always, very interesting post, hun!

    www.whatevawears.co.uk

    P.s. I love this outfit!

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  7. This is so so true Chlo! I've become one of these people and it's so bad!

    Also, this look is amazing, you look gorgeous! xxx

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  8. This outfit is amazing, it reminds me of a red suit Ashley Olsen wore a few years ago, you look marvellous in it !
    For your post topic, the bad part of being busy for the sake of appearing busy has a down effect on people, we can feel bad if our life is boring (even if it's not, not being busy can be seen as a boring life, like you've failed at something). I'm curently unemployed so... Because as you said, being busy just gives the impression of success.

    http://i-think-its-today.blogspot.com/

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  9. This is so interesting to read, as I find that being a student, procrastinating is glorified - its the cool thing to have loads of work but not have done any of it. Definitely makes me think about when and what inspires the change to glorifying being busy!

    Holly | https://hollymottram.wordpress.com

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  10. I love the suit so much !

    Sara
    www.thecrimeofashion.com

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