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Is fear driving our busyness? Author of 'The Busy Trap' weighs in

Tim Kreider hates to be busy (his words), and he wants us all to consider why we feel oh-so-busy all the time.

Tim Kreider hates to be busy (his words), and he wants us all to consider why we feel oh-so-busy all the time. A New York Times Sunday column by the author and cartoonist, 'The Busy Trap' has people buzzing in "busy" areas like New York and Washington, D.C.

As he explained in the Times, this feeling of busyness is just that—a feeling. It's our own fault we're making ourselves crazy, checking our email at all hours and leaving zero time for well, spacing out. Those who work three jobs out of necessity don't complain of being busy, Kreider argues, they're just tired.

Kreider joined Morning Joe Tuesday where he explained, "I think fear is behind a lot of the busyness."

"All that incessant cell phone talking is a way of ensuring yourself that you're indispensable," he said.



From his piece in the Times:

It’s almost always people whose lamented busyness is purely self-imposed: work and obligations they’ve taken on voluntarily, classes and activities they’ve “encouraged” their kids to participate in. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence…Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work. They schedule in time with friends the way students with 4.0 G.P.A.’s  make sure to sign up for community service because it looks good on their college applications…The present hysteria is not a necessary or inevitable condition of life; it’s something we’ve chosen, if only by our acquiescence to it. 

Morning Joe regular and guest host Mike Barnicle expressed his approval of Kreider's theory, saying, "I was so thrilled because one of my favorite things to do is sit on my front porch and do nothing other than stare at a 110-year-old elm tree on the front lawn and I feel incredibly guilty after doing it for about 15 minutes but I feel wonderful inside."