QUICK HIT: Addicted to Busy is a wakeup call to a generation that needs to slow down, enjoy downtime, and just rest…if only we can get them to take time out to read the book.
Hi, my name is Josh. Let me introduce myself. I run Life is Story. I schedule the reviews, I run most of the social media. I read and write a lot. I’m also a youth pastor who’s responsible for Sunday school and youth group and all the preparation that entails. I also serve as teaching pastor and preach at least three times a month. And I work about 30 hours a week as a gymnastics instructor.
I am Addicted to Busy.
I’m a recovering addict, anyway. My schedule is heavy, always. But it’s fun. Seriously, most of what I do doesn’t feel like work…but then I realize that only contributes to the illusion I’m not addicted. 2014 was the year where I carved myself out time to rest and guarded it closely. No work on Sundays after 1. Only reading and writing for fun on Saturdays. 2015 is going to be the year where I feel okay.
(Update in 2018: I took an unexpected promotion to head coach in 2016. More busyness. I’m still preaching and teaching the same amount. In many ways, I’m still struggling with the addiction. In other ways…that rule of no work on Sundays after church has stuck. The rule about free Saturdays is a goal, but not always. At the same time, I gave up Life is Story in 2016. I recognized where my priorities and limitations needed to be. Now, I’m just beginning the process of expanding my ministry work to this website, so the message of Addicted to Busy is a good reminder for me now.)
Sometimes it’s difficult to recognize an addiction to busyness because we live in a culture that’s also Addicted to Busy.
Brady Boyd, also a constantly recovering addict, has made this clear. In his book, he details the workaholic nature of humanity and just how destructive it actually can be. Not that he’s against working hard, but there’s a need for balance. Work and rest must be measured in balance. God instituted the Sabbath for a reason.
If God rested, we also should rest.
With a combination of clear Scriptural teaching and an inviting look into his own personal story, Boyd discusses the destructive nature of being addicted to busyness. Note that busyness is not the problem—Boyd is clear that a season of busyness is okay—it’s the addiction that’s the problem. The need to be busy. The feeling that you always have to be maximizing productivity or always on call at the office.
This book is especially good for pastors. When you work at a traditional job, leaving work at work isn’t always easy, but it’s easier than when you can justify working at all hours as “The Lord’s Work.” Boyd’s personal testimony served as a wakeup call to me to be aware of my surroundings and know when is a time to be busy and when is a time to rest.
The only thing that could have made this book better would have been if Boyd had directly addressed those who are busy and can’t help it—single parents working two jobs to keep food on the table and others just scraping by. He alludes to it by talking about the addiction rather than the busyness, but I think it’s important to make a clear distinction between those being busy for their own self-fulfillment and those being busy for the good of others. Of course, even then, some amount of rest is appropriate.
Overall, Addicted to Busy is a wakeup call to a generation that needs to slow down, enjoy downtime, and just rest…if only we can get them to take time out to read the book.