Some people convince themselves they are important because they’re busy. Many people spend their lives hurrying about to please their boss or family but rarely themselves. They spend their lives racing, but however fast they go, they never seem to achieve anything.

Complete this quiz adapted from and to find out how busy you really are. Give yourself one point for any “yes” to the questions below in order to discover if you too have been swallowed up in the “too-busy” cycle.


1. I constantly find myself doing “urgent” things and trying to catch up. YES  NO
2. I allow myself to commit to business or personal obligations when I don’t know how much time or energy they will require.  YES  NO
3. I find myself running from when I get up in the morning until I go to bed at night. I am always tired and never feel like I accomplished enough.  YES  NO
 4. I seldom schedule a day off for myself and when I do, I tend to fill it with activities.  YES  NO
 5. I don’t make time for “self-care” activities: physical exercise, nurturing or “pampering” myself, cultural stimulation, spiritual well-being, learning something new, playing, or simply doing nothing.  YES  NO
6. I seldom have time to do the things I really love.  YES  NO
7. My work and project areas are cluttered with “I’ll look at this later” stacks and “to-do” piles.  YES  NO
8. I often miscalculate how long certain activities will take.  YES  NO
9. I often miss deadlines or work long hours to meet a deadline.  YES  NO
10. I frequently respond to interruptions such as phone calls, faxes, emails, beepers and pagers and allow them to take me off track.  YES  NO
11. I try to keep things in my head rather than making lists. When I do make a daily “to-do” list, it’s never-ending and impossible to complete in a day. Or I actually have multiple ” to-do” lists, calendars and often use any available post-it.  YES  NO
12. I find myself constantly wishing I had more time or projecting an imaginary future when I have more time, making comments such as “as soon as…” or “next year…”.  YES  NO
13. I spend time running errands and rushing because I didn’t plan well enough.                         YES    NO
14. I spend time doing things I could pay someone else to do because it would either take too much time to train them or I worry I don’t have enough money (or both!)  YES  NO
15. I often do things because I “should” or continue to do things that no longer fit who I am.  YES  NO
 16. Other people complain that my schedule does not allow enough time for them.  YES  NO

This quiz does not give any scientific proof that you are too busy but it does ask some important questions about your time and how you are using it and feeling about it.

Scoring results

10−16 points: How did you find time to complete this quiz? You already know that you are too busy. What you need to think about is, “Why?” How come you let the “busy” be more important than the present?

Some advice

In your search for the zero-inbox and the future completely checked off to-do list, you are sacrificing your current happiness. Please pay attention and make sure that fun and playful non-work time become your most urgent to-do right now!

5−10 points: You are pretty busy. You haven’t yet gone over the line into complete burn-out but some days you probably feel like you are edging pretty close to it.

Some advice

Create a weekly “work-free” and “obligation-free” zone in your calendar, for example one weeknight or one week-end day. If you’re one of those few lucky enough to be committed to at least one regular time-out, set aside time for another. This should be a time that is firmly calendared and observed and involves you getting away from your computer and any unnecessary devices

0−5 points: Congratulations! You have some of the trademark stress markers in our culture but you seem for the most part to have kept them at bay.

Some advice

Create a “busy valve” in your schedule. This is monthly reserved and unscheduled time that you hold in case your busy-meter tips towards full. You can use this time to recalibrate yourself and figure out what you need to do to return to your basic centred state.


Self-quiz: How to tell if you are too busy? Retrieved from
Shin, L. Are you really as busy as you think you are? Retrieved from
The 10 second “I am too busy” quiz. Retrieved from