Perpetuating the illusion that you are too busy.

“Clipboard Guy” was a master of illusion.
But he didn’t employ smoke and mirrors.
He only needed his trusty clipboard to sustain the illusion that he was busy.

I remember him walking around carrying a clipboard, taking notes, ticking off items on “a list.”
And he looked serious!
He could outstare Batman in competition for “Stoic Visage Of The year!”

Ok, so what did Clipboard Guy actually do?
Who the hell knows?
I had no idea, and I get the impression that few people bothered to ask, seeing that he was a manager.
In my first job. Everything, including Clipboard Guy was larger than life.
But I do remember him being BUSY all the time.

In later years I heard via the grapevine that Clipboard Guy was made redundant.
New top-management decided the job he did so meticulously wasn’t truly necessary for company growth.
His position was never filled again.

So my dear friend, what is your “clipboard?”
What keeps you busy?
What is it that you think keeps you busy?
Which insidious tools do you deploy to look busy?
What makes you feel important?

Imagine if Clipboard Guy asked the question, “what will happen if I simply stop doing this?”
He might have asked to be transferred to a different department, to a place where he could’ve experienced new growth and productivity!
Perhaps he would’ve been happier on the job!

I’m sure you will have bona-fide activities that require your time.
That’s how it should be.
That’s life! Some things are non-negotiable as far as your time is concerned!
But what about all the things that you can actually “say NO to” without the universe collapsing as a result?

Yesterday I heard a story about a volunteer worker who felt bitter about her “lack of time.”
She initially loved doing volunteer work at old-age homes.
But somewhere along the line the passion morphed into “simply being busy, and taking on too much self-imposed responsibility.”
The problem is convincing yourself that you’re indispensable and required to perform everything “you signed up for.”

Do you feel your life is too full? Crammed to the brim, out of control?
If you feel bitterness creeping into your life, ask yourself that question I mentioned earlier, “what will happen if I simply stop doing this?”
Yes, of course you can’t simply leave your job, or people depending on you.
But here’s the conundrum – You need to decide what “depends” means to YOU, not just to “THEM!”

If you “leave” a situation and people will simply be “disappointed” then it means they can cope without you.

There are many scenarios where you actually should “go the extra mile” for people.
But when you stop and look behind you and notice that you’ve walked “a few dozen miles” – What do you do?
Recognize the fact that people will use you if it is convenient for them, long after the necessity of your presence has passed!

A few of these items were on my “Busy Clipboard:”
– Toxic friendships.
– Whatsapp Groups.
– Molly-coddling gormless colleagues.
– Social Media.

I did ask myself the question, “What will happen if I simply stop doing this?”
Nothing happened. Life just went on, pretty much the same as it always had been.
But I do believe I have MORE TIME for writing now!