The Importance of Being Busy

A while back, about two years ago, someone wrote an article called The ‘Busy Trap‘ and it went viral. Everyone was sharing it, and the general theme was: Slow down. Relax. Enjoy Life.

I don’t think anyone would disagree that everyone needs down time now and then, but I also think being busy is important for every person, and society in general. Here’s why.

All of us here at DSO have a full time job, or are a full time student, but still choose to work an extra 5 to 10 hours a week. You might think it’s because we want to pad our resumes, or be able to boast about the work we do, but it comes down to a much more simple reason than that: If you ask any person in DSO why they joined, they’ll tell you it’s to stay connected with their desire to contribute to international development.

When you’re working in the private sector, especially at a 9-5 job, it’s so easy to fall into the trap of getting lost in your bubble. One of the biggest pitfalls of life is getting comfortable & wake up, work, hang out with your [self | friends | family], sleep, repeat. And all the interests and hobbies you have outside of those end up just not fitting into your life and you disconnect.

For me, aside from my love of algorithms and CS, I’ve always had a love for helping people, and for singing. But honestly, I knew from an early age that out of those three, programming was going to provide the most steady life support. I choose to be part of DSO because it has been the perfect organization for me to stay connected to international development. It reminds me that outside of Twitter and happy hours and talk about new startups and the latest iPhone - there’s a world that has poverty, and slavery, all sorts of inequality, and so many other problems that I strongly want to be able to contribute solutions towards. And allows me to do so.

To be clear, I’m not by any means saying that GEEZ, everyone should stop dawdling and wasting their lives and join the next non-profit they see (although we are constantly looking for professionals to join!). This applies to any hobby - travel, cooking, climbing, photography, political activism - anything. I spend time each week working on improving my voice, and partake in various singing activities because it’s also a passion of mine. I strongly believe that people have multiple skills and passions, and very few jobs are able to encompass all of them in one single role.

And, the added bonus of people engaging multiple skill sets and interests is that it benefits society. Being able to apply, for example, programming towards common backpacker issues, or writing towards explaining photography techniques, or marketing towards non-profit branding, allows various areas and fields of work to benefit from others that they’re currently disconnected to.

So what I AM saying is this.

If you’ve lost connection to an old passion of yours, don’t let it just slip away from your life. Take time to dedicate to it. Be busy. Do what you love. It’s absolutely important to spend time with your [self | friends | family], but you also owe it to yourself (and society!) to follow your passions and be happy.

Contributed by Trisha Quan

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