Why Busyness Is Eroding Your True Wealth

by Jason on January 20, 2010

Ask 100 people how they’re doing and count the number of times they say, “Busy!”.

Busyness seems to have become some sort of idol in our culture.

But why are we so busy?

Many times it’s because we work insane amounts of hours every week – why?  Just so we can get ahead.

But does building your earthly kingdom equate to true wealth?

Ask anyone who is on their death bed if they wished they spent more time at the office and I can (almost) guarantee they will answer with an emphatic “No!”

Instead, they wished they repaired a relationship with their son or daughter or they wished they would’ve been a better husband, or that they gave more time helping others.

According to the National Sleep Foundation:

the average employed American works a 46-hour work week; 38% of the respondents in their study worked more than 50 hours per week.

I know some of you are not employed right now because of this recession and would be glad to work even 10 hours a week.

This post is for those who are working a ton of hours just to get more money so they can increase their lifestyles.

I think this can be a challenge for all of us, and I direct this post to myself maybe more than anyone!  I’ve been extremely busy lately trying to get our house done and moved in etc.

Busyness isn’t bad

Don’t get me wrong – busyness isn’t a bad thing.  We should work hard, play hard and enjoy life.  After all, we’re only here for a short time.

But all busyness isn’t created equal.  I know for myself I have to fight a constant battle against wanting to “get ahead” with taking time to rest and spend time with family.

Are we busy with the right things?

My wife and I get a kick out of watching House Hunters International.

One of the recent couples they had on were looking for a vacation home in Nicarauga.  The husband was a general contractor and worked an insane amount of hours.

The wife ran her own rental real estate business and one thing she said in the opening was something like this:

We don’t get to see each other much since our lives are running in so many separate directions – so we want a vacation home so we can relax and spend time together.

I looked at my wife and said, “that sure doesn’t sound like an appealing lifestyle to me”.

Sure, they’ve got a huge house in California and are buying a vacation home in Nicaragua, but I can’t imagine not spending time with my wife or kids just to be able to afford vacation homes that you won’t have time to go to.

Most of us are busy with things that ultimately won’t mean a thing.  Sure that promotion would be nice – but what will it mean for us?

Probably more time at the office and less time with family.

What should we do about it?

I don’t have all the answers – and I am still , but I can tell you one thing that I made a commitment to in 2009 and will continue in 2010 and am happy to have followed through on it.

I decided at the beginning of the year that I’d take one Friday off per month and call it Friday Family Fun Day – where my wife and kids would spend the day together, go out for lunch or to the park and just enjoy being together.

I actually marked these in my calendar at the beginning of January and stuck to just about every single one of them – apart from some extenuating circumstances.

Another thing I did was marked off a quarterly Daddy/Daughter Date where I would take my 2 year old daughter out on a date and we’d go hang out.  I took her to see puppies and out for breakfast, we did a lunch together.  These were GREAT times!

So, all that to say – make sure you’re busy with the right things.  I’ve got room for improvement, but I’m taking steps in the right direction.

What about you?

What are some ideas you have to help keep busy with the right things like relationships and helping others?

Do you have any traditions in your family for quality time?

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