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Glorification of Busy

I don’t normally do posts like this, the ones that are vulnerable or thought provoking, because it’s not really me. I’m definitely not a writer, so this space has always been more visual. But my friend Liz, shared this article with me today about the glorification of busy in our industry, written by Andrew Dumont. So I’m just going to tell you to go read it.

I’m not going to say much, other than he’s so right. I continually find myself working just to work, just ask my husband who often reminds me to just take breaks. I always feel there is something that needs to get done or there is something I could be doing better because someone else is working harder, but like Andrew says “…our bodies can only handle so much heads-down production. It’s the law of diminishing returns, and it’s very real. It’s something that downing a few more cans of RedBull can’t solve. Trust me, I’ve tired.”

“Let’s stop glorifying over-work, and start congratulating smart work. The truly brilliant people in the world are those that elegantly balance a heavy-workload and the rest of their life. They’re also the most satisfied.”Andrew Dumont

Underwater Image


  1. February 21, 2013

    We all struggle with this. Let’s help each other in fighting this! So glad you found the article as helpful and insightful as I did. I got your back, always.

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  2. February 21, 2013

    Thank you Eva, I’ve been thinking a lot about this very topic recently. I’ve read this article before but I think I just might give it a good re-read. 🙂

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  3. February 21, 2013

    That was a great article! I think another problem we face as creative professionals is that there’s something of an expectation of: if you love your work, you’ll work really hard all the time, and if you don’t, you obviously aren’t passionate enough to ‘make it’. When I started working for myself, I tried to establish rules like don’t work on weekends and don’t check email after office hours, and now that I’m getting busier, I’ve caught myself breaking my rules. So I’m trying to distinguish between hard work and fun work – answering client emails and working on client projects is hard work, and I try to only do it 9-5, M-F, but doing blog stuff or practicing building up my skills is fun work, and I can do it any time. It’s helped!

    Sorry for the novel in your comments section, I’ve been thinking about this a lot! 🙂

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  4. February 21, 2013

    Wow! Well said. It’s so tempting to over-work and it’s very hard not to…it doesn’t help when companies perpetuate it and expect you to work regular overtime, too – ugh! Off to read this – I’m seriously in awe of people who can find that balance, because even though I know Red Bull/pushing through doesn’t help, it’s so hard not to!

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  5. February 22, 2013

    Right after graduation from college I took a job at a start-up handbag company. There were only 3 employees- the husband/wife owners and myself. After months of 12+ hour long days 7 days a week bouncing from project to project 90 miles an hour just to get through the long day without ever really feeling like we were getting anywhere, we finally hired a consultant to come guide us in the right direction on how to get to “the next level”. The first thing he did was sit us down together and discuss what was (very little) and was not (a lot!)working for us and to help us take those next steps business wise.
    I will never forget the golden rule he inforced upon us- Work smarter, not harder. Talk about an AH-HA moment! The way we worked independently and together as a team to get sh*t done around there completely changed as did the day to day operations of the company. My happiness from my newfound work/life balance was so liberating both emotionally and mentally that my design work improved and our productivity as a team skyrocketed. I have since left the company, but continue to live by that golden rule. I can totally attest to the fact that being “busy” or working just to work gets you nowhere except stressed and unhappy. Taking the time to live your life and remove yourself from your work for a few hours a day leads to a happy, more motivated “you” which in turn results in better work, whether you are in design or banking. Thanks for sharing this Eva, and thanks for letting me put in my two cents. 🙂

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  6. February 22, 2013

    I’ve been thinking about this for some time now, and definitely need to read that article. Even now, as i’m typing this, I’m taking a 5 minute break from working. But I shouldn’t be working because it’s the evening time in England and I should be with my BOYFRIEND! *sigh*


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  7. February 23, 2013

    Wow — I couldn’t have read this at any better time! A fellow blogger & I were just discussing this very topic. I am the same way — I work to no end, completely frustrated at times, and I will still refuse to take a break. Even though, I know, stepping away for just 30 minutes I will be able to clear my head and come back more motivated & inspired than before. It’s definitely a struggle to remind oneself about this!

    I loved the article, thank you so much for sharing this! He has a lot of really interesting reads too. Ty!

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  8. March 15, 2013

    I enjoy reading this article as well as your blog! I am handbag designer based in LA and I forward to reading more of your work!

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