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.


How busy do you feel?


How many hours do you work per week at your main job?

* Fun fact: the average full-time American employee works an average of 47 hours per week.


Do you have a side gig or second job? How many hours do you spend doing it?


Describe your inbox.


How much sleep do you get every night?

* Fun fact: the average adult gets less than 7 hours of sleep each night.


How much time do you spend on exercise, meditation, and other health-related commitments?

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What’s your family situation like?


What’s a typical dinner like?


How much time do you spend watching TV or movies, or playing video games?

* Fun fact: You probably don’t even register on this scale. The average American watches about 5 hours of TV every day.


I’m guessing you have a hobby, or something that brings you pleasure in life (such as playing an instrument, playing board games, sailing, volunteering, or woodworking). How often do you get to do this activity?


How often do you get to spend time with your closest friends?


It’s Friday night and your best friend asks you to get a drink. What’s your typical, honest response?


How much time do you spend doing quizzes like these instead of actually working?


Seriously, though, how did you feel taking this quiz?