I haven't ever seen one non-breaking news article shared more than this Sunday's "The Busy Trap" in the New York Times. Tim Ferriss, author of the 4 Hour Work Week and the godfather of lifestyle design, called it "One of the best articles I've ever read in the New York Times." The author laments that the most common response that we hear and give to the the question, "How are you doing?" is some variation on the word "busy." This answer then insights the question asker to one-up the scale of busyness that the answerer just shared. But, in this article, the author goes on to talk about the value of not being busy and of finding a balance some where in between nonstop and slothfulness.
Sheryl Sandberg, the COO of Facebook, has a few things on her plate. But, earlier this year, she started talking about her commitment to leaving the office everyday at 5:30 so you she can achieve a balance in her life (full post HERE) A friend recently returned from a trip to Europe and she told me that some of the professionals she spent time with there had a few thoughts on working late as well. "The guy that is still at the office after hours is assumed to be not very good at what he does. If you can't get you work done in 8 hours, there is something wrong with you."
Having made the term "hustle" a part of my vocabulary from a very early age and taking it all the way to the point where it now makes a prominent appearance in my Twitter Bio, I wrestle with the idea of balanced. But, this winter when I was in the in between the sale of Gowalla to Facebook and starting as Chief Strategy Officer at Goodpenny, I had some slower times to face the thing that I feared the most: not knowing what to do if I wasn't hustling. And, as I came face to face with it, I didn't deal with it all that well. I've said before, 'my hobby is talking about the fact that I need a hobby' and it's true.
Each time I reread the 4 Hour Work Week or see articles like this blow up across the interwebs, I try and slow myself down to consider what I would be doing if I wasn't working as hard as I am. But, then I think about the fact that I love what I do, the people that are a part of my world as a result, and that I feel alive when I am working hard on things bigger than myself. There is no doubt that there is value in taking extended periods of time away from the fast paced world that we live in. But for me, when it comes to projects I believe in, I prefer to hustle because life is too short not to.