When I see my friends who are still in full time employment, I am surprised how busy they are. They work more than 80 hours a week, hold meetings, they are on email, twitter – maybe it is being managed by somebody else, and they are constantly on a hustle. I do not see them relaxing – and they are really busy.

Wait a minute, can you be productive when you are busy?

Can you be busy, multi tasking, constantly switching from twitter to email to fb to….and be productive?

I do not need to answer these doubts, but I do think that all my good work gets done ONLY when I am so called doing ‘nothing’. I do not take some time out everyday to think, but I do worry about multi tasking.

I find that I am unable to sit in one place without a gadget. Then soon, multiple gadgets. I could be watching TV, working on my laptop and being alert for beeps on wassup or sms. I realize that TODAY this is an addiction, not multi tasking. Our cost of distraction is zero. Absent mindedly I locked myself out of my wife’s bank account because I put in my password – this is the price of multi tasking. I realize that I am too dumb to multi task even menial jobs. I just am not cut out for multi tasking. Maybe others are. Especially women whom I know who handle kids, husband, parents, vendors at home, work, clients, vendors at office, ….with ease. Not wishing to name this girl – she would do all this while handling a Rs. 4 million job. Her lifeline was of course her phone and parents who stayed with her, but I used to be amazed!

We have freed a lot of our time – but we have got more busy. When we were younger taking bath took more time because we had to wash our clothes. Today the machine does it. Where did we use the 10 minutes that we freed up? Busy on social media is not really productive at work. However, for me being on social media is important – I get readers from there and those people attend my workshops. So I do need SM on my side! However, drawing the line between being busy and being productive is important, and many of us cannot.

We take on much more than what we can handle. And if work piles up, there is stress. We are all stressed, have tons of ‘things to do list’ but cannot do it because we are busy. Mostly busy with things that makes us feel guilty at the end of the day. So when we retrospect, we wonder why we wasted that time. Then we RATIONALIZE that it was inevitable. Largely we do not know how to handle the time that we ‘free’ from our work. We can so easily use it for being productive, but we do not. We choose to be busy.


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  1. Another super post Subra sir that i can so relate to!

    Happens everyday to me and i wonder why i have started missing minute details that i never did earlier.

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