Book 15: Crazy Busy

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This is one of those books I didn’t want to read but I knew I must. You should, too. My 15th book in the #EmptyShelf Challenge hit me between the eyes. Sometimes it hurt, but in the end, it felt good.

Title: Crazy Busy: A (Mercifully) Short Book about a (Really) Big Problem
Author: Kevin DeYoung
Publisher: Crossway (2013)

What the book is about

Kevin DeYoung takes an unconventional approach to dealing with the epidemic problem of being too busy. He focuses more on diagnosing his own problem with busyness than on solving the reader’s problem. By his own admission, the book is rather cathartic for himself, but because the problem of over-busyness is so common, it touched me, too. I’m sure it will you as well.

His diagnosis of busyness rests on several core issues:

  • Pride
  • Acting out of obligation
  • Not setting priorities
  • Trying to be the perfect parent
  • Being dependent on anything with a screen on it
  • Unwillingness to rest
  • Failing to understand that life is appropriately busy at times

Why I read this book

First, because my wife suggested I do so.

Second, because she was right that I needed to.

Third, because I truly am too busy and I knew I needed a reminder that busyness is not usually a good thing. I also knew I needed some ideas on what to do about it.

Strangely, while I found the book very helpful, it is relatively short on prescriptions. I’m not saying it was not helpful. Far from it. Have you ever sat down with a friend just to talk about a problem and, while you didn’t identify any solutions together, you somehow felt more empowered to deal with the problem?

That’s what this book is.

Favorite idea

At one point in the book, something DeYoung said triggered a thought that he didn’t actually say. So I’m not sure this “favorite idea” comes from the book, but the book certainly generated this two-fold idea.

First, God acts in spite of my busyness. Busyness is, in many ways, founded in pride. So when God acts in and through my life, He chooses to do so despite my busyness. However, I think God is reluctant to do so lest His great works appear to be a result of my busyness.

Second, when I am not busy (that does not mean being lazy or idle), God supernaturally empowers His divine design in me to achieve great things for the Kingdom. In doing so, I have no choice but to credit the results to His Glory.

Do I recommend this book?

Yes. The tone of the book is unlike any other I’ve ever read. It’s like sitting down with the author to talk for a couple hours. (It’s a very short book.) He doesn’t propose to have fixed his own busyness problem. He would likely say he understands the problem better and in reading the book, I think you will understand your busyness problem, too.

(Click here to learn more about the #EmptyShelf Challenge.)

Dr. Scott Yorkovich is a leadership coach and consultant. He works with individuals, small and medium organizations, and ministries. Contact him at ScottYorkovich[at]LeadStrategic.com with your questions.

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