Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Mind Your 'Busyness'

Please mail me the document. I didn’t get it’ - A chat message from a friend that came 3 days after I sent the document.

‘Well...hello to you too. I’m doing great thanks for asking’, I respond with a smiley.

‘Sorry jare…good morning! You know how it is now?’ He responds.

Er… I don’t know how it is. I’m not even sure what the phrase means. I just know that if I haven’t engaged in a conversation with anyone for 10 minutes or more, a hi before anything else is in order.
I'm finding it difficult to comprehend this I’m-so-busy-there’s-no-time-for-anything-but-work syndrome we exhibit these days. Common courtesies are becoming rare in everyday conversation. Emails with no greeting, no closing, just one-liners with requests or orders. Chat messages that begin smack in the middle of the conversation and hangouts plagued by prolonged bouts of bb chatting, emailing and responding to work related phone calls. 

By far the most annoying for me is ‘blanking out’ – you’re talking to someone whose mind is caught up in another conversation with someone who is not present and the only sign you are being heard is an occasional grunt.

This I’m-so-busy-I’m-about-to-drop-dead issue is especially prevalent amongst the ladies: upwardly mobile, fiercely independent, super-intelligent, great personalities but crazy busy, very single, zero social lives; and they keep asking, ‘Where have all the cool guys gone?’ Babes, they are where all the other ladies find themselves good, decent company, not at work in front of your computer or in your bed where you crash from exhaustion after working 8-10pm Monday to Friday.

In a way, I blame technology for at least half the problem. There was a time when general info wasn't as readily available as it is today. Then came Google and other social media platforms and now life as we know it will never be the same again. From How To Be A Parent to Becoming A Witch: Tips & Tricks, you can find practically everything you want online.

This is good news right? Well, not necessarily.  With all this information is an unnecessary overload of information and those who overindulge in no time begin to show symptoms of addiction: Attention-deficit, restlessness, disorganization, anti-social behaviour; anxiety, hoarding (You are a hoarder if you have tons of PDF docs, every audio/e-book or podcast you can get your hands on; and though your laptop is slow and takes forever to open a 4kb word document, you can’t find anything to delete or send to the recycle bin)

The problem isn’t so much the info that is available out there as it is how we consume it. The obligation for everyone who lives in this age, especially if you want to retain your sanity is learning how to learn, knowing what to know, and possessing the wisdom to be able to sieve the wheat from chaff.

Todd Duncan in his book Time Traps said how we use technology will determine if it keeps us on top of things or things on top of us. I can’t agree more. When I passed a lady at Barcelos with 3 Blackberries and a Samsung tablet, I felt pity. As in, why now?

I remember being assigned a colleague who came in from the UK to oversee some in-house training at a place I worked previously. I was taking her back to her hotel room when she squealed in delight ‘See!’

I looked in the direction she pointed. It was a crescent moon with a star perched close by.
‘Isn’t that cute?’
‘It is’ I retorted with a fake grin plastered on my face. I felt ashamed I hadn’t noticed but worried too ‘cos I knew that in a million years I may never have if she hadn’t pointed it out.

I get that we are busy and sometimes forget courtesy and simple etiquette back home as we rush out the door but I think its time to slow down and get organized. If we can use technology more efficiently, then we can have more time to do non-work related things and connect with real people outside of the workplace. 

I’m not saying do less, I’m saying give your 100% and know when to stop. Maybe then there’ll be time and a greater opportunity to meet really cool guys people, see great places, smell the flowers and if nothing else, give our minds time to rejuvenate.

I hope I’m not beginning to sound like an old woman?

©Naomi Lucas


Edidiong said...

I think William Henry Davies captures it all in his poem Leisure:
What is this life if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

No time to stand beneath the boughs
And stare as long as sheep or cows.

No time to see, when woods we pass,
Where squirrels hide their nuts in grass.

No time to see, in broad daylight,
Streams full of stars, like skies at night.

No time to turn at Beauty's glance,
And watch her feet, how they can dance.

No time to wait till her mouth can
Enrich that smile her eyes began.

A poor life this is if, full of care,
We have no time to stand and stare.

Anonymous said...

Nice one. Thanks for this lovely piece.

Naomi Lucas said...

My pleasure anon.

Naomi Lucas said...

@edidiong, william henry davies was in love, lol

opeoluwa adedeji said...

U aint sounding like an old woman @ all. You are talking reality

Naomi Lucas said...

Whew. Thanks Opeoluwa :)

Aktor365 Blogs said...

i never noticed i do dat until now, will try to adjust my mentality a lil. Thanks

Aktor365 Blogs said...

I truely have to mind my busy-ness. My "no time" menatilty must change.

Naomi Lucas said...

Aktor, at least you noticed, lol