Busy bragging has become a full-scale epidemic. Your friends, coworkers, family members, and even you have been guilty of exaggerating how “busy” you actually are, whether it’s telling your boss you don’t have time to take on that new project, or telling your friends you haven’t made plans with them because your plate is so full. You might be conscious of it, using your busyness as an excuse to get out of something, or you really might feel like you’re too busy to take on new responsibilities.
Researchers and cultural critics have taken on the phenomenon of busy bragging, noting its most common motivations:
- Busy as a status symbol. Being busy means you’re important, so the busier you are, the more indispensable you feel. You might feel inferior to others if you aren’t as busy as they are.
- Busy as job protection. Being busy makes you look good at work, since it means you’re taking on lots of tasks and responsibilities.
- Busy as task avoidance. Busy could also be a way to avoid taking on new tasks; the busiest people in the office can’t afford to take on new projects and tasks.
- Busy as conformity. If everyone in your office is talking about how busy they are, you don’t want to be the odd person out.
- Busy as an excuse. Claiming to be busy is also a convenient excuse for getting out of a social or professional responsibility you don’t want to do.
- Busy as a psychological effect. It’s also possible that you feel “busy,” even though your plate isn’t as full as you think it is.
If you feel busy, like almost all of us do, I’d be willing to bet you’re busy bragging to yourself and others—even if it’s just a little bit.
So why not challenge yourself to take this highly scientifically accurate quiz*, and see how “busy” you really are?
*Quiz not scientifically accurate. “Busy” is a relative term.