Sunday, December 31, 2017

When 'Busy' Isn't Good Enough


On the eve of a new year, lots of you (myself included) are thinking about the shape of your lives and careers in the year ahead. Taking my own Strategize Me advice, I like to reserve New Year's to reflect on my past accomplishments and map out a plan for the coming year.

The year just ending was overflowing with work commitments: a full plate of employee and consultant responsibilities, a new book, co-developing a new museum studies course and trying to teach it, trying to be present with colleagues and friends, struggling to be creative and interesting and interested -- well, the list goes on and on.

It's easy enough to chalk it up as a busy year. What's struck me as I attempt to catalog my 2017 accomplishments is that I get no satisfaction from being so busy.  Busy-ness does not equal quality; it doesn't begin to describe depth (or even lack) of commitment. It fails the authenticity test.

I'm tired of being busy, of describing myself that way as my pat answer to anyone's query about how I am or what I've been up to. Because, of course, 'busy' is not really an answer. And we're all busy.

I want more than just putting one more brick in the wall. The challenge for strategizing me this year is to find renewal and meaning.

I hope that's your challenge, as well.

Happy New Year.