Are you in Business or in Busy-ness?

By , October 10, 2009 5:17 pm

Arizona 1009 043

I’m writing this post in Scottsdale Arizona after delivering a Keynote Speech at the 4th Annual NICU Therapists Development Conference.

The title of my talk was:


“Are you in Business or in Busy-ness? 4 ways to get your life back on purpose.”


After the speech, we hung around chatting about busy-ness and overwhelm and how it creeps into our lives. Busy-ness seems to be everywhere!

Today, the pace of life seems faster: we all have so much to do, ‘plates to spin’ and so many roles to play. Sometimes we feel that we are just settling and surviving. We become too focused on getting things done, rather than actually living life and enjoying it.

I found this quote recently and it really got me thinking:


“I don’t want to get to the end of my life and find that I live just the length of it. I want to have lived the width of it as well.”

Diane Ackerman


I don’t just want to live the length and width of my life, I also want to live the depth of it. I see this as developing my wisdom, my inner self and listening to that deeper voice within. I know I can achieve this through conscious living: living on purpose. Life isn’t just about ticking boxes and getting stuff done!


What is busy-ness?

  • It’s the unconscious stuff (‘do-do’) that I focus our time effort and energy on, which serves no value or purpose, except just to keep me busy!
  • It’s when I’m living my life unconsciously and not on purpose.
  • It’s never getting around to those things that are important to me, that I value.
  • It makes me work longer hours just to get things done.
  • It’s anything that takes me away from the true ‘business’ of the day: what you I’m trying to achieve.
  • It’s when I’m too ‘busy’ with being busy to focus on my important relationships.
  • It’s doing everything for everyone else and nothing for myself.
  • It’s when I’m just settling and surviving.
  • It’s when I’m waiting to be rescued from all this ‘stuff’ (Where is that knight in shining armour?).
  • It’s when I never get any time or space for myself.
  • It’s when I feel out of control in my life.
  • It’s when I often neglect my own needs (health and well-being).
  • It’s when I’m avoiding making some important decisions in my life. I add more ‘stuff’ to try to fix the problem instead.
  • It’s when I notice that I don’t laugh as much as I used to.
  • It’s when everything is a crisis in my life – I’m constantly reacting.
  • It’s when I spend most evenings just watching TV to escape my busy life.
  • It’s when I have so much that I want to do, I don’t know where to begin, so I don’t begin.
  • It’s when I know there’s more to life – I’m stuck with what to do about it.
  • It’s saying ‘yes’ when I really want to say ‘no’.
  • It’s when I’m tired of rescuing everyone else all the time. I want to be rescued too!


Do you recognise any of these?

Busy-ness really doesn’t care. It looks for the cracks and fires out its tentacles to weave it’s way into your life and takes control.

So… Are you in Business or in Busy-ness?

23 Responses to “Are you in Business or in Busy-ness?”

  1. Laura says:

    Elaine! What a beautiful website you have created. I am so impressed….it feels calming to be here. The list you wrote is helpful. Sometimes I think that the message in our culture is that the more busy you are, the more valuable you are: what a yucky paradigm! Thanks for defining unproductive “busy-ness”!

  2. [...] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Laura Mixon and Elaine Bailey. Elaine Bailey said: Are you in Business or in Busy-ness? http://bit.ly/rVqFx [...]

  3. elaine says:

    Thank you Laura. We’re still working on it and calming is just what I wanted to create.

    You’re so right… Tim Ferriss says: ‘Most cultures tend to reward personal sacrifice instead of personal productivity.’ I see this so often in some of the Organisations I work in. My next post will give an insight into how busy-ness shows up.

  4. Sue says:

    Elaine, beautiful website!! Your talk was the perfect way to kick off our conference! Everyone was talking about it for the rest of our time there. It was obvious you made them really think about how they were spending their time. Great post!!!

  5. Emily says:

    Love the website and the post, Elaine! Your list is so right on!

  6. elaine says:

    Thanks Sue and Emily! Here’s to a busy-ness free weekend!

  7. Lisa says:

    What a wonderful post Elaine…. I love the whole idea of living the length, width and DEPTH of life…. everything is sacred and has the potential to inspire us, if we simply take a moment to live consciously and deliberately. You website is looking great!

  8. elaine says:

    Thanks Lisa! You’re so right: everything does have the potential to inspire us and it really is about living consciously.

  9. [...] Busy-ness manifests itself in many ways. Here are three of the most common: [...]

  10. loans says:

    I want to thank the blogger very much not only for this post but also for all her previous efforts. I found http://www.elainebaileyinternational.com to be extremely interesting. I will be coming back to http://www.elainebaileyinternational.com for more information.

  11. yo fantastic blog yea nice work our review website will soon be adding reviews on blogs and add them to our websites as the top best 25 websites to visit we also do reviews on product recalls all types of reviews

  12. [...] and eating are usually the first things to suffer when we get sucked into the ‘Do-Do.’ Busy-ness loves it when you’re hungry and tired. We get locked into doing and forget to eat and sleep [...]

  13. My name is Piter Jankovich. oOnly want to tell, that your blog is really cool
    And want to ask you: is this blog your hobby?
    P.S. Sorry for my bad english

  14. elaine says:

    Thanks Piter. I love writing and this blog is a way to share my experiences of how to live a creative and purposeful life, rather than just settling and surviving. I’m a training consultant and life coach so I get to work with people stuck in ‘busy-ness’ every day!

    Thanks for stopping by.

  15. zynga says:

    i wouldn’t have guessed this had been excellent many years in the past nonetheless it’s crazy exactly how years evolves the means by which you understand specific creative concepts, thank you for the posting it is actually relaxing to start reading something clever occasionally instead of the basic nonsense mascarading as a blog on the net, i’m off to take up a smattering of hands of facebook poker, cheers

  16. nice share, good article, very usefull for me…thanks

  17. [...] easy to let busy-ness hemorrhage into Me Time because you have so much to do. You become reactive to the chaos around [...]

  18. I usually don’t post in Blogs but your blog forced me to, amazing work.. beautiful …

  19. [...] a period of recovery time afterwards. But how often do we remember to do this? If it is sustained busy-ness will get a tighter grip because we are physically and mentally weaker. The perfect recipe for [...]

  20. [...] commit time, effort and energy. The main reason that we don’t keep agreements is because in the busy-ness of life we get distracted and simply forget. Written agreements remind us of our [...]

  21. [...] and growth. He ‘got’ how important this was for his personal success. However, in the busy-ness of his working life he would get lost in the do-do of doing and forget about the value he’d [...]

  22. [...] us are undisciplined. We know what we should be doing or where our focus ought to be. We then allow busy-ness to takeover. Discipline involves you getting good at concentrating your attention away from any [...]

  23. [...] commit time, effort and energy. The main reason that we don’t keep agreements is because in the busy-ness of life we get distracted and simply forget. Written agreements remind us of our [...]

Leave a Reply

Current month ye@r day *

©2010 by Elaine Bailey International Ltd
(Registered Address: PO Box 250 88 Pavilion Way Meltham Holmfirth HD9 9BL; No: 7015168).
All rights reserved.
Website by WhizzLiz