“Are you writing?” asked a mentor. “Keep writing and speaking,” said my former boss. “Are you going to keep writing your blog?” asked a friend. I responded to all three people with “No, I’m too busy.”
During a day’s work, I hear the word “busy” more than I can count. It’s the standard response. “How are you?” Busy. “How is your day?” Busy. “Want to go to lunch today?” Nope, sorry, I’m too busy. In the English language, busy is an adjective that means a great deal to do or as a verb that means to keep occupied. Busy has become the state of our lives.
We make choices that determine how we spend each minute. Sometimes the to-do list overflows and dominates our day. Sometimes the busyness is a personal choice. The truth is that busyness is not healthy and will not make you fulfilled in life. When you look back, being busy creates an empty, unfulfilled life.
Busy kills relationships. Someone once told me that I look for things to make me busy. An addiction to busyness kills personal and professional relationships. People get tired of an “I’m busy” response or attitude. They stop asking to spend time with you because the relationship was not a priority; the busyness becomes your best friend.
Busy has nothing to show for it. When I opened WordPress to write this post, I realized it had been 11 months since I published a post. That date sent a shockwave through my body. I felt disappointment that I had not written for pleasure in almost a year. My busyness stole my time to recharge my emotional and mental bank account. Busyness doesn’t fill your family album of memories. It leaves crisp, clean white pages with a bold stamp of the date and “BUSY.”
Busy requires boundaries. I am a list maker. I have a list in my phone, a list in my Emily Ley Simplified Planner, a Post-It note list on my computer and a Post-It note list on my back door as I walk into the garage. I make lists to keep myself organized, which is healthy unless the lists dominate my time. Time creep happens before your realize it if you don’t set boundaries for your time based on your priorities.
I have a personal challenge to not say “busy” as a response to any question for the next 30 days. I hope you will take the challenge with me. Use this time to define your priorities, embrace the unchecked boxes on the to-list and love who and how you spend your time.