To me, the answer to this question is yes and no.
YES, since being busy means we are active, and being active means we don’t stand still. And if we stand still, we don’t learn.
NO, if we are busy in order to feel useful or reinforced by others.
Unfortunately we live in a culture where we often measure success in contribution of time instead of measuring the actual outcome of our actions. “He has been so busy in the last couple of months with this project, he really deserves a raise”. Or “She is very busy lately so things are finally going well for her”.
Till recently, I always thought I was productive whenever I was busy. I was wrong. It is a trap of our minds, very subtile and yet difficult to escape. We have been trained throughout our lives that being busy, working hard and long, was good. But it is much better to focus on being productive and effective instead of being busy.
And we have never learned how to be productive and effective. They didn’t teach us at school, at college and definitely not at work. And to make things worse, most of us haven’t learned how to be efficient either.
It would be so cool if schools taught children how to read fast or a method to memorize things easier. Or if companies had a standard training for everybody who started working on how to work smart.
The lucky ones among us, get to follow a time management training but most of us have to figure out for themselves how to work more efficiently. And efficiency is very important but not everything. We can be super efficient, and yet ineffective. Therefore the best is to focus on both: effectivity and efficiency.
Therefore I developed Lifehacking workshops where I help people to work and live more effectively and efficiently. And since we spend a lot of the time in front of our computer or laptop, many tools are online. Currently these workshops are taking place only offline but I am busy developing an e-training too.
Sometimes being busy is inevitable, but often it is unnecessary. It all starts with the question: are you productive or just busy?