I read a thought-provoking post on the subject of busyness recently that got me reflecting about this subject a bit.
Everyone seems to be “busy” lately. In fact, it seems to have become the “go to” answer to the perennial question “how are you?” “Busy,” we say, to anyone that will listen. We’re really, really, busy — crazy busy in fact. We’ve got lists, demands, obligations, expectations and we’re never done with them. We’re important because we’re busy. And we’re needed. We’re so busy that we’re stressed and tired and never have enough hours in the day to get everything done.
I don’t know that many of us have thought about the impact of this one word on ourselves and on others. In addition to projecting self-importance, “busy” accomplishes a number of things. “Busy” sets up a wall between people that’s hard to get past. When someone tells you they are “busy” it sends the message not so subtly “don’t ask me for anything” or “don’t make any demands on me.” “Busy” keeps friends and colleagues at arm’s length and says “I really can’t be here for you right now.” It minimizes the opportunity for connection. “Busy” is also a bit dismissive and vague. How different would it be to say,”I’m great and I’m working on some really interesting projects right now.” That’s a conversation starter — whereas “busy” tends to block further inquiry.
To be sure, every one of us has times when we’re trying to finish a project or meet a critical deadline and we’re legitimately flat out. But you know what? With all of the busyness, each and every one of us finds the time for what is most important in our lives.
I have a lot of projects and priorities. I have lists of my own that I will never finish. But I don’t want to be that person that’s too busy to take the time to really connect or to pause for the things that matter.
I invite you to join me in consciously letting go of “busy” as a lifestyle choice.