By Carine du Pisanie, PR Executive: Y&R South Africa
The term ‘busylepsy’ is now an actual thing.
Corporate philosopher, Naseem Javed, articulates this affliction as a ‘self-inflicted state where one desperately craves overloading oneself with unnecessary processes that can lead to a state of numbness and incompetence’.
Everyone that works in the ad industry knows that our collective and universal state of frantic and chronic busyness is not always self-inflicted, but client-inflicted. And process-inflicted. But let’s be honest… we also crave the drama of an urgent deadline, an unwanted task, of an adrenaline-fuelled pitch effort with a ridiculous timeline. It validates us; makes us feel worthy of our client’s business when we turn it around – often at the last minute.
The prognosis of Always-Busy-Syndrome (ABS) is not necessarily as dramatic as a state of numbness, as per Javed’s writings on ‘busylepsy’. It can manifest in the form of the misreading of a brief, a job not saved in the correct folder, a deadline barely missed. And when left to escalate, it can eventually lead to that always-tired feeling that can rob one of the joy of the craft of advertising.
If ABS is what you need to flourish, then good for you. But let us not lose each other and ourselves in the hecticness of it all. Let’s never be too busy to offer advice or a kind, supporting word, and let’s keep each other accountable for maintaining an acceptable work / life balance.
We have to breathe, we have to take stock. Banish the perception that slowing down is admitting defeat and showing weakness. Ask yourself how your frantic vibe is affecting others around you and still give what you can of yourself without simply saying NO to anyone that needs you – personally and professionally. And above all, never mistake hecticness for progress.
My Simple Truth today: ABS is BS. Ultimately, it is all about balance.
And if you catch me running in the corridor, laptop in hand… please remind me of my own words.