Less Busy, More Happy

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Kerby Andersonnever miss viewpoints

Arthur Brooks begins his article by asking if you are feeling a little guilty about reading his article. He explains that we might feel that way because it is taking time away from something else you might feel you should be doing. We have deadlines and obligations nipping at our heels.

The title of his article is “How to be Less Busy and More Happy.” As I have mentioned in previous commentaries, Arthur Brooks has been investigating what makes people happy. He has a podcast with the name, “How to Build a Happy Life.”

According to a recent survey by Pew Research Center, a majority (52%) of Americans are usually trying to do more than one thing at a time. The survey also found that nearly two-thirds (60%) said that sometimes they feel too busy to enjoy life. That number approached three-fourths (74%) when asking parents with children under the age of 18, who admit they feel too busy to enjoy life.

The solution to excessive busyness is simple: do less. But he acknowledges that is easier said than done. But don’t give up yet. Researchers have learned that well-being involves a “sweet spot” of busyness. Put another way, too little discretionary time or even too much free time reduces life satisfaction.

He also admits “that for most of us, too much discretionary time is scarier than too little, and we overcorrect to avoid it. If we don’t know how to use it, free time can become idleness, which leads to boredom, and humans hate boredom.”

The trouble for most people is the fact that their lives are far below the sweet spot of discretionary time. That’s why I suggest all of us take a moment to reevaluate our lives and time commitments.viewpoints new web version

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