Here is how Merriam-Webster defines enough:

occurring in such quantity, quality, or scope as to fully meet demands, needs, or expectations

The concept of enough is an important one. Less would be too little, more could mean too much. Either of those could be a problem.

If you want to discuss enough, you have to clarify “for what?” — because that directly affects the consequences of less or more. Sometimes more than enough is better, but there are clearly cases when that is not the case. Accordingly, much more may be worse, not better. There is usually a range of the acceptable, with enough somewhere in the midst of it.

When it comes to busyness, there is a spectrum, too. It likely differs somewhat from person to person, but there is probably a range of busy enough (for it to be healthy and productive), perhaps an amount of not enough, but certainly there is also what is too much.


When people get too busy, they feel short on time, rushed. They experience stress. Here are some of the things that often fall by the wayside:

  • Good, regular rest
  • Exercise
  • Healthy diet
  • Meditation or other contemplative practices
  • Activities and time shared with friends or family
  • And so forth.

There is sad irony in that. When asked what happened, the response is often “I got too busy for that . . .” — but of course, it is precisely at those times, when you will often benefit most from those healthy habits in your life.

It can sometimes be tempting to think of a person’s busyness simply as a matter of their shifted sense of priorities. I do not think that is right.

Gradual, then suddenly

Busy sneaks up on you. Things accumulate, they collect. A junk drawer is more likely to fill up than to empty out. Similarly the list of your commitments or outstanding tasks grows easily. Counteracting that takes a struggle against inertia.

There is one line in Mike Erwin’s In a Distracted World, Solitude Is a Competitive Advantage that particularly stands out for me:

Don’t be too busy to learn how to be less busy.

When things get so busy, this is another one of those healthy things that you do not believe you have time for. It may be one of the more critical ones: Take time aside to think about and assess the reality you find yourself in, to learn from it.

If your response will be the same tomorrow as it was today, then you cannot really expect things to go much different either.


Why the neglect? It is you, your mind. All those tasks and projects and rushing from one place to the next, you keep yourself busy and your mind stays busy. You may feel stressed, but your mind is on the work, already on the next thing, worrying about time. It goes by fast.

I think quiet and detachment need to come first, however you can find it, to clear the mental noise.

Pause and breathe.



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