months ago, I called a dear friend to see how she was going. She didn’t answer
and instead sent me a text, saying to email her as she was too “busy” to call
didn’t email her, because I didn’t appreciate her response. It’s important to
make real time for your friends; to show them kindness and not let
“busy” get in the way.
not saying I’m perfect in this area. I have a lot going on, as many of us do. I
regularly have people say to me that I seem really busy as I am doing so much,
and I always smile.
response is always this: “It may look like I’m too busy, but actually, I just
work hard. I make sure I dedicate my energy and time to my passions and other
things that are important, since time is finite. This doesn’t mean that you
can’t reach out to me when you need me – part of making time for important
things means making sure I’m not too busy to be kind and respectful to my
friends. I don’t let ‘busy’ get in the way of what really matters.”
Those who constantly talk about how “busy” they are, adding adjectives in front like “super” or “crazy”, are unintentionally putting a big “I’m too busy for you” sign on their forehead. If your talk of your busyness starts making it sound as if you can’t make time for anything else, you’re making yourself appear unapproachable. Talking too much about how busy you are makes people think you’re too hard to connect with. When I see a busy sign on your forehead, I’m reminded of a John C. Maxwell quote I recently read:
“The greatest enemy of good thinking is busyness”.
on and on about your busyness doesn’t make for good conversation; it doesn’t go
anywhere, and all it does is make the person you’re talking to really bored,
and even annoyed. Any time spent with people who project the “I’m too busy for
you” message never truly feels whole. Fascinatingly, I’ve found that
those who are legitimately “busy” don’t actually announce it all that often.
However, they’re also usually too busy to go out of their way to find the time
for meaningful connections.
The Meaning Behind
talking about being so busy means that you’re often doing something called
doublespeak. This when you say one thing, but what you really mean is something
what you’re actually saying when you’re acting like, or telling people that you
are, just way too busy:
important… more so than you.”
using my busyness as an excuse, because I don’t want to do this.”
scared of feeling inadequate and missing out.”
don’t like feeling guilty about not doing the meaningful things I really want
course, you can’t actually say any of these things out loud to another person.
That would just stop the conversation in its tracks, and be really rude. That’s
why we turn to “I’m busy!” instead. It’s a convenient excuse that is used all
too often because we see being “busy” as being a fantastic character trait.
is a big part of the work we do is to coach and train leaders and executives to
stop the busyness and be truly courageous in their lives and leadership.
How to Stop Using Busy as a Crutch
often feel overwhelmed and exhausted, even though you haven’t gotten around to
doing the things that are really important? Do you use busyness as a crutch to
avoid feeling like a failure for not accomplishing the things you should be
are some ways to start holding yourself accountable and stop hiding behind
you start journaling, or simply do a mental attention audit, you will learn how
to connect where your attention lies and what actions you perform. Ask yourself
each day what you got done, and what you paid attention to. Did these things
matter? Were they related to what you were meant to be doing?
Alter how you frame and define things
Laura Vanderkam suggests, once you start changing your language around how you
spend your time and what activities you’ve undertaken, it becomes clear that
how we spend our time is a choice. If you tell someone you don’t have time,
imagine saying to them that their request isn’t a priority instead. The thought
should make you uncomfortable, and with good reason. We are in control; we make
the choice about how we use our time.
defining your priorities and things you want to devote your energy to is also
helpful, as you can then start to shift how you define productivity. Once you
start including the important things, you stop using busyness as an excuse for
avoiding them because they are suddenly a priority.
Be sure to stop – you don’t always have to be
people prefer to be “busy” all the time, simply because it’s habit. They also
may do so because they are scared of being thought of as less productive. This
coveted faux virtue of busyness is only causing damage, and stopping us from
truly gaining insight into ourselves.
really matters in life is knowing when to hit ‘pause’ and how to rest and
refuel. These quiet moments of pause give you the chance to discover what
matters to you and what you really want to be doing – not just what you think
you should be doing.
JOMO – The Joy of Missing Out
mentioned FOMO earlier, and this is the opposite. The Joy of Missing Out, as
Anil Dash wrote, is about taking control of your time and your life so that you
can find more joy.
are the one who decides how you spend your time, and by learning to say no more
often, you will start to truly feel joy. Ask yourself, what is the point of
keeping so busy all the time? Why do you feel you have to say yes to every
request? No is okay. Have more time for the things that really spark joy when
you embrace JOMO.
It’s Time to Stop Being Busy and Make Time for
Busyness is not a sign of
importance; it doesn’t prove that you matter, or provide an adequate excuse for
not being a better friend, co-worker or family member.
Take the plunge today and stop
hiding behind busy. Take control of your choices and your time. Discover what
really matters and pledge to make it a priority. Start saying no more often and
stop overloading yourself.
This doesn’t mean you have to stop working hard – it just means that you acknowledge that your busyness does not excuse you from falling behind in your other responsibilities. The world needs kind people, and people who are brave enough to say “I’m not too busy to help you/do this for myself. You are/I am a priority too.”
Don’t be too busy for what really matters. This means your health, well being, family and your passions. We only have one life.
I’m over busy, are you?
What can you do?
If you’re looking for an intensive introduction to courageous leadership which is all about YOU, invest in your development by enrolling in one of our Courageous Leadership One Day Workshops. They’re being held in Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne in October, and tickets are only $149! With this amazing low price, we limited spaces left – so find out more and book your place here.
To go even further in depth with your leadership development, Sonia McDonald Inc. also offers a comprehensive Courageous Leadership Online Program. Enrolling in this program gets you access to a range of exclusive resources and workbooks, and the opportunity to join in Q&As with Sonia herself in weekly coaching calls. This program is for any leader who wants to further their leadership and become successful and courageous – and focus on what truly matters.
You can join the self study program at any time, or claim your spot in our next Group Program, which opens in January 2020, here.
https://www.soniamcdonald.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/09/busy.png23363504soniahttps://soniamcdonald.com.au/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/Logo-Sonia-Mc-white-all.pngsonia2019-09-13 07:19:582019-09-13 07:20:32Why I am over Busy.