“Don’t say you don’t have enough time. You have exactly the same number of hours per day that were given to Helen Keller, Pasteur, Michelangelo, Mother Teresa, Leonardo da Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, and Albert Einstein.” ― H. Jackson Brown Jr.

A lot of people in our society tend to be hyper-productive. Those who scurry from task to task, always checking e-mails, organizing something, making a call, etc. The people who do this often think that “staying busy” means you are working hard and therefore you are going to be more successful. While this belief may be true to an extent, it often leads to mindless “productivity” — a constant need to do something and a tendency to waste time on menial tasks.

Instead of being robotic in how we approach tasks, we should always ask ourselves if something could be done more efficiently or eliminated altogether. Managing our time isn’t about squeezing as many tasks into our day as possible. It is about simplifying how we work, doing things faster, and relieving stress.

Maybe it has always been like this, but the advent of social media has allowed everyone, everywhere, to talk about how busy they are in a much more visible forum. It seems like we all have a million projects on our plates, and that we can’t see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Now sure, maybe you have been saddled with so much work recently that you are feeling the walls closing in on you; you can’t sleep and get irritable when you see people talking about the vacation they’re about to go on. But for the most part, we use this facade of busyness as an excuse to get out of pretty much any commitment that is no longer convenient.

Whether we want to skip out on dinner plans, miss our trip to the gym or look for sympathy on Facebook, telling people that we’re endlessly busy seems to take precedence over actually doing anything. If we can convince other people that we are too busy to take part in something, then we can keep convincing ourselves that we are too busy to do it.

No matter how busy we are, or we pretend to be, we all need rest and little vacations, and that doesn’t mean that everyone who takes time to relax and turn their brain off occasionally is lazy. But realistically, most people have about 40 hours of free time a week. And even if you are one of the outliers and you are actually so busy that you can’t pursue the things in life that would make you happy, then it is time to figure out how to change that.