I saw this quote floating through the internet a few months back, and it's stuck with me ever since. The quote, by Guy Kawasaki, is from this HuffPo article promoting Arianna Huffington's book Thrive. Guy says the two main metrics for success in our society are money and power, which can lead to a culture of over-worked, over-stressed, and downright busy people. A third metric, according to Arianna Huffington, should be to thrive-- taking care of yourself, slowing down, and not letting your entire world revolve around work.
I haven't read the book, but I've been thinking about this idea a lot lately. Especially for young professionals like me (whoa, I've never called myself that before), staying busy is simply expected. There's no place on your resume to put "I said no to [some great opportunity] so I could cook dinner with my girlfriend in the evenings." Full-time work, professional associations, volunteer work, networking, clubs... We're sort of led to believe the more you can pack into your schedule, the better. At one point I even felt it was necessary to have a part-time job on top of my full-time job at Floricane. What was I thinking?
Here's what I think is important: don't get so burned out being *busy* that you can't dedicate yourself fully to the important things. Maybe turn your phone off. Say "thanks, but no thanks" sometimes. And when you do say yes to extra commitments, make sure it's for something that you truly care about and to which you're happy to give your time and energy.
Side note: I recently decided to take an indefinite break from what was basically a full-time hobby (competitive roller derby), and while it was a tough decision to make, the time that it's freed up in my life has been the hugest gift (I actually get to see my girlfriend now! Hi, Samantha!).