Busy is NOT productive

Ha Nguyen
1 min readJun 28, 2020

I feel bad when I have to tell people that I’m busy.

I never think being busy is an honor that we can take pride in.

When I’m busy, it doesn’t necessarily mean I’m creating values.

It only means you have MANY things to do.

But at the end of the day, it’s quality that matters not quantity.

You know you’re having harmful busyness when

. You feel stressed and overwhelmed

. You don’t have time for yourself

. You feel guilty for taking rest or having fun

. You spend more time but get less done

. You feel unmotivated to do things that once excite you

Being busy is not productive; I even think it’s contrary to efficiency.

John Spencer has differentiated these two nicely.

When compared to productive

Busy is to

. Do frantic instead of focused work

. Work harder instead of smarter

. (Try to) be good at everything instead of the most important things

. Multitask instead of single-task

. Feel rushed all the time instead of relaxed & enjoyed

Let’s try to be more productive instead of busy!



Ha Nguyen

A child advocate & entrepreneur in Helsinki who cares about education, fairness, the environment & sustainability. Stay in touch on IG: @a.second.of.happiness