The Wrong Kind of Busy

This week I’ll start work on my 100th video project this year.

And my intuition says that’s something both to be proud of but also a cause for re-evaluation.

For aspiring videographers I would 100% recommend working on as many productions as possible, as being able to work alongside a wide range of talented professionals, is in my opinion, one of the quickest and most effective methods of self-improvement.

I’m hugely grateful for the experience and lessons learned from working on 100+ projects every year has taught me, whether that be the variety of situations and challenges, or the actual practicalities of delivering this quantity of content.

But as I’ve said before… ‘busy isn’t a brag’…

And if I’m being truly honest, since early August, I’ve really felt like I’ve got absolutely nothing left in the tank. Mentally and physically.

Of late I’ve wanted to make a conscious effort to give a more accurate portrayal of my working life. When you’re lucky to have a job like I am, people regularly tell you, “wow I wish had a cool job like yours”.

And don’t get the wrong idea, it’s amazing and not a day goes by where I’m not grateful to be doing what I’m doing.

But it’s not the glamorous, polished image many videographers post on social media. I’m becoming ever increasingly aware and conscious of the negative impact this ‘social narrative’ of perfection is having.

And I hope that this exponential increase of posts around mental health and looking after yourself is a harbinger of a more ‘self-aware’ and positive society.

Much like you, in my working life I want to be progressing and getting better every single day.

But with my primary goal at the moment being to buy a house, quantity of work has been a major factor in my decision making. Although booking up every single possible minute of your work life can feel like your achieving success, there’s a big part of me that feels that there’s some very important things I should be doing that I’m not.

There’s things I want to and more importantly should be doing to properly build a business and bring greater to value to people in this world.

I feel like I have more in me.

In my experience of late, being this level of has busy has been great and for sure teaches you a lot, but there comes a point where it’s detrimental and detracts from work you need to be doing in order to move towards your long term goals.

If you’re an aspiring videographer/photographer or someone who’s building their own business my advice would be not to get down or depressed if you’re not busy or if all your contemporaries seem to be unbelievably busier than you.

Being busy is no guarantee you’re doing the right thing. Remember where your long term goal is and takes steps toward that.

Widely respected filmmaker Casey Neistat recently released a video that really hit home for me this week (Linked here… and I’ve built on (or ruined) his intital idea in this inelegant metaphor below…

Building a successful business is like swimming across an ocean. Sure you can get busy, kicking your legs and arms frantically but maybe in actual fact you are only treading water and not moving anywhere. Where in reality actually taking slower, but more considered and more effective ‘front-crawl’ strokes is the best way to get your to your final destination.

So remember, it’s great to be busy.

But not when it’s the wrong kind of busy.

Thank you for taking the time out of your day to read this.

And I wish you every success.


This story was originally posted on

What I’m Currently Reading…

‘Crushing It’ — by Gary Vaynerchuk — it’s a great one! Check it out here…

About Jack

I help people, brands and business communicate more effectively with their customers through visual, audio and written content.

I do this through Southpaw Sport, the sports content marketing company I’m currently building as well as on a freelance basis working for agencies and production companies.


You can follow me on YouTube where I post weekly vlogs sharing my experience and opinion on content production.

YouTube —

And my social media for behind the scenes look at what I’m up to

Instagram — @jackwrtompkins

Twitter — @jackwrtompkins

Jack Tompkins