Drew Barontini

More about me

The Busy Signal

In the days when landline phones were ubiquitous, the “busy signal” was a familiar occurrence—a quick beep indicating the person you were trying to reach was on another call. It was a clear sign to try again later. This concept can be applied to our approach towards knowledge work.

Saying “busy” often masks deeper issues in our work. It signals that the work at hand might lack impact, meaning, or personal significance. Our days become packed with meetings, to-do lists, and busyness that serves as a shield against meaningful reflection.

Busyness should prompt reflection and deeper thinking. It’s a cue to pause, explore our motivations, and shift from information collection to thoughtful analysis. Recognizing this signal helps us break free from the busyness trap.

To escape this cycle, we need to reduce meetings, streamline tasks, and focus on cultivating a life rich in depth and meaning. Aligning our work with what truly motivates us, holds personal significance, and shapes our desired identity is essential.

Consider your current situation. Use the busy signal as a prompt for deeper contemplation, paving the way for a more fulfilling work life centered on intention and purpose.

Next time you feel overwhelmed with busyness, take it as a sign. Pause, reflect, and think more profoundly about your path. What can you change?