I just read http://opinionator.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/06/30/the-busy-trap/ and a couple of the comments. I'm sad that folks didn't exactly seem to get what he was saying. I liked his writing and some of his ideas. (Really like that art/illustration the paper printed online there! I'd love to see that artists work in a gallery....)
How many folks are so busy and not very happy? Mild depression seems to be a symptom of many modern lives. Busy busy lives where satisfaction is minimal. You might think having it all is the answer but I see men and women all over Hollywood, Chicago, NY, who live in the richest neighborhoods with the largest homes and all the money to buy everything and they are still busy busy no matter how much staff, and still swimming in low spirits.
Often they come to me to help them with their bodies. Low grade melancholy forces the hand to lift far too many cookies, cakes, chips, or drinks past their lips while they are busily looking the other way. Weight gain only heightens the despondency and it becomes a vicious cycle.
If you surf the net too much, or spend hours with email that isn't productive, take enormous amounts of time shopping, gathering, running errands or carting kids, you might want to re-think what is important to you? Do you take time for exercise? Do you fit healthy food into the day? Who makes it? How do you plan it? Are you up on all the TV shows but haven't started a project you've been talking about for a year? What is it that you really really want to do?
Often the thing we really want gets shuffled by or busied over because of fear. Fear of not being good enough, fear of looking like a fool, fear of succeeding and then upsetting the family dynamic, there are lots of fears. Freedom is pushing past the fear and feeling terrific about yourself for doing it. This never stops. You will always feel better about yourself to do the thing that scares you. When you were little it might have been to climb the jungle gym and when your older it might getting to the gym. Just go. Begin. Live happier.
If you need some help with fitting your life into your days, where can you chop off time elsewhere? Where do you drive needlessly, surf superfluously, or chit chat longer than required? Grab a session.
I liked "busy trap" guy's schedule. While it doesn't work for many folks to follow his exact formula, he is clear about what he needs for each area of his life and plans his days for what is important for him. Work is just one part. Business is at a minimum. He is more clear and probably gets a great deal done in 4 focused hours than many do in 8.