How busy should writers and editors be?

Must we answer emails late at night or be on call even when we should be enjoying family time? Here are a few things to consider about your attitude toward work.

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It’s the trap in which “busy” is the default response whenever you ask someone how they’re doing, even if it’s a result of self-imposed deadlines and activities.

Author Tim Kreider most adeptly described this trap in a New York Times opinion piece from 2012:

Almost everyone I know is busy. They feel anxious and guilty when they aren’t either working or doing something to promote their work. They’re busy because of their own ambition or drive or anxiety, because they’re addicted to busyness and dread what they might have to face in its absence.

Smartphones no longer just keep us tethered to the office; they also keep us chained to organizations we volunteer for, our kids’ sports teams and the neighborhood book club. The result is a “pretense of indispensability” in our professional and personal lives.

According to Kreider:

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