Busyness What is Busyness Impacts of Busyness Why are we so Busy? Busyness Culture Becoming Busy Alternatives to Busyness Busyness Practice & Exercises Busyness Resources

The resources on this page have been collected and curated to serve as further knowledge-gathering, approaches, and inspiration for our collective and individual relationship to busyness. 



Taking Time: Articles written by people who have been asked to consider time and how we value it.

The Nap Ministry: Run by activist, artist, and writer, Tricia Hersey, the Nap Ministry is a blog, a book, and a social media presence that discusses rest as resistance and a tool of community healing.

‘Hustle culture’ is rooted in white supremacy and it’s time to put it to rest: An article summarizing the rise of hustle culture and it’s relationship to the Black community.

If you’re working while on vacation this summer, this column is for you: Musings on what a post-COVID-19-quarantine work/life balance could look like regarding work boundaries.

How to be more productive by working less: Author of, The Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck, writes about how more time working doesn’t always mean more work gets completed.

Why Do We Glorify the Cult of Burnout and Overwork?: Despite understanding the negative effects of overwork, it is still glorified as how to get ahead around the world. This article goes into the origins of this culture and why it may not be changing anytime soon.

Hustle Culture: a Disabled Student’s View: A disabled student outlines their struggles to meet expectations of busyness that may not be obvious to non-disabled people.

Overwhelmed? Take an audit of your brain’s real estate: When we are stressed, sometimes our brains like to tell us the solution is doing more. This article’s author provides a different strategy to help our brains calm down a bit when the pressure is on.

Improving work-life balance: Is there such a thing as business hours anymore?: The ability to work from home gave newly remote workers more freedom than ever over their schedules. But now the freedom is causing more stress and burnout than having regular business hours.

Busy (and reliable): A short and simple blog post advising to focus on reliability rather than busyness to achieve success.

3 Key Mindset shifts that made me a significantly happier person: The author tells a story about how they found the three mindsets (related to boundaries) which made them have a much more positive outlook on life.

The App that Monetized Doing Nothing: The story of how the wildly successful wellness app, Calm, came into being.

How to Stop Living in ‘Infinite Browsing’ Mode: An interview with the author of Dedicated: The Case for Commitment in an Age of Infinite Browsing, Pete Davis.

The best time management advice is depressing but liberating: An interview with the author of Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals, Oliver Burkeman.

The Health Hazards of Overworking: A short summary of a 2020 World Health Organization analysis revealing the negative health effects of working more than 55 hours per week.

Delete THAT app: A sure-fire way to take back time for ourselves is to delete the app we use the most.

Efficiency is the enemy: This article thoroughly goes over the usefulness of having “slack” in our daily routines.

What is your time really worth to you? (Interactive Thought Experiment/Calculator): A quiz to visually determine where we are putting our time and thus what we value.

Stop spending time on things you hate: Why do we do things we know we might regret later? Or that we don’t even like doing? The article delves into the mechanisms our brain is using when we are making these decisions.

The Virtue of Boredom: Mark Manson, creator of the website, “Life Advice that Doesn’t Suck,” goes over the three reasons boredom is good for us.

Clock Time vs. Horticulture Time: An inspirational comic.

Why Time Management Won’t Solve Your Time Problems: 9 ways we can handle having too much to do that don’t involve hustling harder.

Is there an antidote to ‘digital intensity’?: A look at the extra stress on our minds being caused by increased screen time specifically for work purposes during the pandemic.

What your calendar says about your values: A blog post suggesting a method called, “time blocking,” to help create space to pursue our goals and balance our priorities.

Make time for “Me time:” A simple breakdown of how to create boundaries in our lives to include time for ourselves and our well-being.

Feeling Overworked? You’re Not Alone: This article goes over how to identify if we’re being overworked and provides seven suggestions to reduce work stress.

Grind Culture: Defines and discusses “grind,” or hustle culture, and how it may have turned us into an individualistic society.

Stop the Grind: A Realistic Solution to Halt Hustle Culture: Another discussion of grind culture, but this time looking more at it’s origins and what companies need to do to address it in their workforce.


Fight Hustle, End Hurry: Authors, John Mark Comer & Jefferson Bethke, discuss several topics related to hustle culture and its pull on our lives and specifically their relationships to Christianity. We found episodes 1, 2, 6, and 9 particularly enlightening!

Do You Want to Slow Down?: The Science of Happiness podcast sits down with Anna Sale for an episode. She summarizes her methods of “experience of awe” as an antidote for anxiety. The episode is under 20 minutes long, so it’s not much of a commitment!

Productivity and How Capitalism Commodifies Time: The Overthink Podcast features two professors who discuss the intersections between philosophy and culture. In Productivity, they specifically cover the paradoxical nature between the obsession wth busyness and busyness being really unproductive. In How Capitalism Commodifies Time, they touch on the blurring of our identities as individuals and as workers and how COVID-19 may be changing those boundaries for some.

Learning to Let GoAn episode of Being Well with Dr. Rick Hanson. The episode focuses on how to determine where the line is between jumping ship too quickly on something worthwhile vs hanging on to something that stopped serving us long ago.

The Art of Effortless Results, How to Take the Lighter Path, the Joys of Simplicity, and More: A conversation with Greg McKeown, author of Effortless: Make It Easier to Do What Matters Most and a previous book, Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less.


We are all busy! Below are a collection of videos that cover various topics we’ve discussed throughout Busyness. They may be easier to peruse and explore on the run than reading the books and articles listed above. They give a basic overview of the ways Busyness is being studied, presented, and problem-solved in many disciplines.

In Praise of Slowness

MIT professor Neil Gershenfeld talks about the world’s obsession with being “speedy,” despite the negative side effects. The antidote may be the growing Slow Movement.

A Kinder, Gentler Philosophy of Success

Alain de Botton takes a look at assumptions surrounding our definition of “success” today and how it is making us miserable. He offers thoughtful reflections on how to change our approach.

The Lies Our Culture Tells Us About What Matters

Op-ed columnist and author David Brooks talks about how our society is in a “valley” or a slump in terms of relational connections. He insists we would find more meaning and happiness if we focused on creating deeper connections with the people around us.

The Busy Identity

Lexie Harvey describes how busyness has become the measure of “success.” The less free time someone has, the more important/successful they must be. She challenges her audience to incorporate rest and a sense of self outside of being busy.

The Cult of Busyness

Ian Price gives a short breakdown of how the changes in technology have given us more ease, but also more access to everything all the time. It is overwhelming and creates problems with our ability to differentiate between what is important and what is just in front of us.

Why You Will Fail to have a Great Career

In a more inspirational speech than a lecture, Professor Larry Smith goes over both personal obstacles and structural obstacles getting in the way of a “great career.”

Embrace the Near Win

Art historian Sarah Lewis muses on the connection as well as the difference between mastery and success. Using examples from the art world, she discusses how near wins are ultimately tied to our pursuit of success and may hold more value than we realize.

How to Find Work You Love

Scott Dinsmore shares his personal story about quitting a respectable job to begin his journey searching for work that brought him joy. In this short talk, he both shares what he learned and gives tips on how to get started.

5 Ways to Kill Your Dreams

Brazilian entrepreneur Bel Pesce explains 5 common myths which act to sabotage our ability to pursue our dreams.

The Fallacy of the Work/Life Balance

Michael Walters gives the advice to try not to search for balance. There are 4 transformative results of a holistic thought process: Grace, Awareness, Momentum, and Empowerment.

An ER Doctor on Triaging Your “Crazy Busy” Life

Darria Long thinks we can all approach stress the way she approaches it at work in the ER. She calls it going from “crazy mode” to “ready mode.”

How to Turn Busy into Balance

Sara Cameron, M.A. thinks being busy is a choice, and we’re making this choice based on bad information. Balance makes us more fulfilled, and allows for the important process of integration.

The True Cost of Being Too Busy

Debbie Hayes explains how our busy-focused lives have eaten away our close connections. The line between work and self is blurred and we are losing more than we may think because of it.

How Busyness Affects Your Productivity

The research says the busier we are the less productive we may actually be. Professor Keith Wilcox goes over some of the paradoxical relationships we have with busyness in connection to his research.

The Science of Productivity

What methods work best to keep us on track?

Additional Videos to Check Out:

How cognitive surplus will change the world: How online worlds have created resources we can tap into in times of need.

How boredom can lead to your most brilliant ideas: There is unexpected importance to spacing out.

How to gain control of your free time: Time management expert gives advice on how to “build the lives we want in the time we’ve got.”

Why should you read “One Hundred Years of Solitude”?: A story about the cyclical nature of systemic issues, and how hope in a better future is the way forward to create change. How might this lesson tie in to how we can approach our busyness culture?

The refugees of boom-and-bustAn individualistic focus on the rewards of busyness (profits, “success”) vs the impact on people who are part of achieving those rewards.

This is what makes employees happy at workThe benefits of keeping employees happy are irrefutable, and the path to achieving employee contentment is cheaper for companies than we think.

How to buy happinessIntriguing research on how money can buy happiness, but not in the way we may expect.

Why we need to rethink capitalismCapitalism’s biggest fan thinks it needs to be reigned in to serve more than individualistic purposes.

To save the climate, we have to reimagine capitalism: An economist explains the ties between unchecked capitalism and impending climate disasters globally.

The dirty secret of capitalism — and a new way forwardThere are theories and economic models other than capitalism that can be just as effective at creating growth and equity.

The US needs paid family leave — for the sake of its futureThe policy focus on getting people who give birth back to work as soon as possible has overlooked the consequences on the health and well-being of the new parents.

Why work doesn’t happen at workWhat could make working at the office a more productive endeavor?

How burnout makes us less creativeContrary to common belief, obsessing over productivity can hinder our ability to be efficient and creative. Instead, downtime may be key to getting creative work done.

The happy secret to better work: Success being the key to happiness is actually backward. What happens when we prioritize happiness over success?

3 steps to stop remote work burnoutHow can we protect our energy while working from home to create better boundaries between ourselves and our work?

Why students should have mental health daysHappiness first and wellness practices aren’t exclusively beneficial for adults.

The new American Dream: For the first time in the US, parents don’t think their kids will be “better off” than they were. Is this a reflection of the failure of the American Dream or an opportunity to create a new type of dream for communities?


After Long Busyness
Robert Bly

I start out for a walk at last after weeks at the desk.
Moon gone, plowing underfoot, no stars, not a trace of light!
Suppose a horse were galloping toward me in this open field?
Every day I did not spend in solitude was wasted.

Busy Day at the Office 
Margaret Fishback

This is a day when I covered no ground.
Just pushed and shuffled my papers around,
Nudged at letters and winced at bills,
Sorting them out into different hills,
Hunted fretfully for a ruler,
Worried the overworked water cooler,
Sharpened pencils and filled my pen,
Then shuffled my papers around again.

Philip Larkin

What are days for?
Days are where we live.
They come, they wake us
Time and time over.
They are to be happy in:
Where can we live but days?
Ah, solving that question
Brings the priest and the doctor
In their long coats
Running over the fields.

Burnt Norton
T.S. Eliot

(No. 1 of ‘Four Quartets’-click linked title to view full poem)

Time present and time past
Are both perhaps present in time future,
And time future contained in time past.
If all time is eternally present
All time is unredeemable.
What might have been is an abstraction
Remaining a perpetual possibility
Only in a world of speculation.
What might have been and what has been
Point to one end, which is always present.
Footfalls echo in the memory
Down the passage which we did not take
Towards the door we never opened
Into the rose-garden. My words echo
Thus, in your mind.


Sorry I’m Busy | The Harlameighs

Takin’ Care of Business | Bachman Turner Overdrive

Too Much Monkey Business, Buck Cherry

Have More Time, Marvin Smith

Work to Do, Average White Band

Coming Around Again, Carly Simon

It Was Supposed to be Easy, The Streets

Matthew and Son, Cat Stevens

Got the Time, Joe Jackson

Government Center, The Modern Lovers

20 Million Things to Do, Lowell George

Busyness What is Busyness Impacts of Busyness Why are we so Busy? Busyness Culture Becoming Busy Alternatives to Busyness Busyness Practice & Exercises Busyness Resources